The Center for Financial Services Innovation has partnered with Google Play to release a guide for firms building their own fintech app. The Fintech App Development Compass outlines six steps to help firms build and launch an effective app for their clients.

Step 1: Know Your User

Financial firms that are hoping an app will help them reach out to a broader audience should also understand what those prospects are looking for in financial advice and in their interactions.

Step 2: Focus on Access

One of the hallmarks of fintech is that it can bring financial services to underserved portions of the population. Google and CFSI pointed out that the demographics of this underserved population may be dramatically different from the clients that advisors are used to serving.

“Remember that underserved consumers often work multiple jobs and may have little free time to manage day-to-day finances,” Google and CFSI wrote in the guidelines. Those consumers disproportionately use lower-end phones, so they may run into problems with storage and data consumption.

“Consider how use of your product can fit seamlessly into their routine,” the guidelines noted.

Step 3: Establish and Maintain Trust

The guidelines noted that “trust is at a premium in the financial space.” Developers should make sure their apps have a clear and consistent value for the client, and that they’re transparent about how they are paid.

To keep that trust, they need to make sure that clients will be safe when using the app, and that their concerns and feedback will be heard by developers.

Step 4: Test and Iterate

In keeping with firms’ need to make sure clients can trust the apps developed for them, financial firms should test them thoroughly before releaseing them to the public.

“Be sure to measure the actual impact of your product on users over time,” the guidelines noted.

Step 5: Drive Positive User Behavior

Well-designed apps can drive consumer behavior in the direction developers want. For example, “meaningful motion” lets firms focus their users attention on specific features in the app, and notifications encourage users to re-engage.

Step 6: Recognize the Value of Mutual Success

“Remember that the best business models are win-win,” the guidelines noted. “If your users’ financial health improves, your company profits.”

Tracking users’ actions in the app can help determine where they need help in their financial lives.

— Read How to Add a Robo Platform and Up Your Advice Game on ThinkAdvisor.