Raise your hands if you think you’re living in an awesome world today! With digital revolution changing almost every aspect of our lives, we all are saving time and efforts in one way or another.
For instance, you can do shopping sitting on your couch, hold meetings, discover new places, learn new skills, book tickets, and even send or receive money right from your smartphone.
Speaking of sending and receiving money, the P2P payment apps have really made their mark as an efficient mobile app along with a convenient and secure mode of payment.
So, what exactly are P2P payment applications?
Peer-to-peer payment system acts as a middleman that helps a person to transfer funds from their bank account to another person’s bank account with the help of an application called peer-to-peer applications.
Peer-to-peer apps have gained immense popularity among the youth who generally show more trust in sharing their financial data with the third-party software as compared to the less tech-savvy older generation.
We saw, what P2P applications are, now, let’s see what are its types.
Types of P2P payment apps
1. Standalone services
These P2P vendors have their own mechanism that facilitates money transfer. They all have a wallet feature that assists user to store their money before they offload it to some bank account or send it to their peers.
PayPal and Venmo are the leading services in this category. PayPal tops the chart with its presence over 202 countries where more than 250 million users transact funds.
While Venmo which is owned by PayPal is the fastest growing service in this category that has witnessed a tremendous growth in its total payment volume from 6.8 billion in first quarter of 2017 to 17 billion in third quarter of 2018.
2. Bank centric
The peer-to-peer applications that involve a bank as one of the parties in the transactions are called bank centric P2P payment apps.
We can further divide this category into two types. One, in which the banks have their own mobile application.
Second, the peer-to-peer payment applications that transfer funds via its credit unions and partner bank.
Zelle is one of the safest platform developed by top US banking institutes that matches all the safety standards of banking establishments.
Zelle app draws and deposits money directly into the bank account instead of any sort of account that has stored currency.
3. Social media centric
In recent years we have seen that many social media giants have developed P2P apps. In 2015, Facebook launched its payment feature in its messenger where users can transfer funds without leaving the app.
Snapchat launched Snapcash four months before Facebook integrated the payment feature. However, they had to shut it down on 30th August 2018.
Following Facebook’s path Google acquired Softcard, a mobile wallet platform which was a joint venture of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
Why peer-to-peer apps are so much popular?
In the past few years peer-to-peer payment applications have gained tremendous traction as compared to that of bank payment apps. Since 2015, the total number of downloads for banking apps have only increased by 10% from 2015-2017.
Whereas, the p2p apps download have nearly tripled from 17 million to 46 million in 2017 in the US.
The prime reason that accounts for these results is the fact that it allows it users to transfer money with just one tap on their smartphone.
Just link your bank account once with the app and enjoy swift, secure, and convenient way of money transfer.
Features that should be in your P2P app
To build an app that facilitates p2p payments, the mobile app development company must include few critical features which would make their app a sure success. Without these features it’s almost impossible to survive in the current market.
This feature is useful as it informs the user whenever a payment is initiated or received.
Moreover, it notifies for every wallet activity. In addition to that, P2P payment apps have extended their services to send notification for bill due dates and ticket bookings.
Technological stack: Chrome notifications, Rest APIs, Amazon SNS, APNS, and Firebase cloud messaging.
Send bill, invoice
There must be a feature that allows the user to scan the bill to the person who has to make the payment.
Moreover, the app must generate an invoice of transaction which can be received by both sender and the receiver.
Technological stack: Bamboo invoice, Rest APIs
The app must have a feature that allows the users to see the summary of all their past transactions made via the P2P payment app.
Technological stack: Rest APIs
Unique ID/ OTP
Every mobile finance solution must send a unique ID or OTP (One-time password), so that the user can verify it before any amount gets deducted from its wallet or account.
To make the security even tighter, few P2P payment systems also ask for OTP every time a user logs in the app.
Technological stack:3rd party SDKs like: Firebase, Twilio, Nexmo, Digimiles
Transfer amount to bank
Generally, users like it if the P2P payment app provides them the flexibility to transfer the money from the app to the bank account.
Each P2P payment app has different business model, according to which they charge a small fee that varies for every app.
Technological stack: Dwolla, ACH
Fingerprint security lock
P2P payment apps are highly prone to risks as it contains important bank account details and credentials.
Due to which it becomes imperative for a developer to provide a foolproof security to its app user.
They can do this by providing a fingerprint lock in the app. This lock will ensure that only the user of the app can access his or her account.
Technological stack: Biometric authentication, Optical fingerprint, Capacitive sensors
Peer-to-peer payment solutions must have a chatbot that can address all the queries that may arise while transacting funds, wrong deductions from account/wallet, and in case when the user loses the internet connection.
Technological stack: 3rd party SDKs – Zendesk, Facebook messenger chatbot, Microsoft Bot Framework, and Amazon Lex.
Cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin has been the talk of the town for the past couple of year.
You must provide your users with a feature in your P2P payment apps that allows them to buy and sell cryptocurrencies efficiently and safely.
This feature can be a game changer as it will attract many people who possess a keen interest in the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Technological stack: BitcoinJ SDK, Bitpay, and Coinify
Challenges faced while developing a P2P payment app
No matter which type of digital payment solution you develop? There will be a set of challenges that you have to overcome. So, let’s have a look at these challenges.
For convenience, we have divided these challenges into two types which are.
Security: It’s the biggest challenge that any wallet app development company has to face.
In past, the hackers have got better of the most renowned and secured platforms like PayPal and NIC Asia bank.
Since these apps contain a huge amount of confidential data at one place, the risk is always larger and thus it becomes imperative for the P2P service providers to ensure foolproof security.
Comply with PCI DSS: It’s compulsory for all the brands which deal with the confidential banking data to follow and comply with PCI DSS compliances.
To comply with its guidelines, your solution must meet the below criteria.
- Secure confidential information
- Vulnerability management system in place
- Build strong access control standards
- Continuous testing and monitoring of networks
- Update all the security policies
- Maintain secure network and system
Currency conversion: Currency conversion is a challenge which is faced by all the P2P payment services.
It often becomes difficult to convert the currency in real-time as there are more than 180 currencies functional in the world.
Moreover, one must Develop peer to peer app in such a way that the money transfer takes place in as shortest frame of time as possible.
Non – technical challenges
Regional limitations: One thing common with most of the P2P payment apps is that they are restricted by their geography.
Even today there’s not a peer-to-peer app that can allow a user to send money cross borders. To emerge as a top industry P2P apps must go beyond their geographical constraints.
The cases of dispute: There are number of issues which are related to peer-to-peer payment solutions.
For ex, when a user sends an amount to his/her friend and the other person doesn’t receive any payment even though the amount is debited from the sender’s wallet or bank account.
This kind of disputes can happen at any time and the developers who have already developed P2P app or are yet to develop one must keep this thing in mind.
Read More: How much does It cost to develop an app?
Slow changing mindset: It’s quite evident that transactions made via P2P apps are more swift and convenient.
However, people are still feel comfortable using the traditional way of payments, i.e., through cash.
And the reason behind it is simple. No one would like to take a chance with the security of their confidential financial data.
Future of peer-to-peer payment apps
The market for the p2p payment apps is all set to see fierce competition with new players joining in the past few years have seen the rise of messengers that have in-built p2p payment services. In coming years, we will see many other promising changes.
The future of P2P payment apps looks brighter with possible integration of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
Blockchain is nothing but a record of transactions. A record which is distributed among thousands of computers around the world instead of one person controlling it.
All those thousands of computers have to reach a consensus to make a transaction valid.
Each transaction made, is broadcasted to the network and the validity of those are checked by complex algorithms.
If it turns out to be valid then they are added to the record of previous transaction. The chain of transaction thus formed is called the blockchain.
With such pathbreaking advantages the blockchain powered P2P payment apps have already seen huge investments made by behemoths such as JP Morgan Chase & Co.
They have already filed a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Peer-to-peer payment applications are redefining the way we do payments in many ways and it will keep doing so in the coming years.
It’s increasing number of usage shows that people are slowly migrating from physical form of money to the digital money, which perhaps is the future.
So, now is the best time to invest your time and money to develop a robust P2P payment app to gain the first mover advantage.
P2P payments are still a niche segment which will undergo humungous transformation in coming years and you must want to be the first to adapt to those advantages.