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How to Make an app like Robinhood?

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Do you remember Jordan Belfort, the person Leonardo Di Caprio played in The Wolf of Wall Street? If not, then let me tell you, he was a broker from Wall Street who made millions of dollars during the 90s, working as a broker for stock traders and investors. He later went to jail for his fraudulent ways of running his company involving the trade of pink sheets stocks. 

But, if Jordan were in the market today, he would have a hard time earning commission with his old ways. Sorry Jordan, it is not your fault. It is just that, today, one does not need a broker to buy and sell stocks. Today, technology has changed the finance market so disruptively that trading stocks, bonds, and other securities are as easy as sending a text message on WhatsApp.

At present, the online trading market is full of trading apps and websites that let users invest with the click of a button. Robinhood is one of the market leaders in online trading apps. Some other popular trading platforms are TD Ameritrade, Webull, Ally, E*TRADE, Acorns, Stash, eToro, and Revolut. Each one focuses on a different niche and works differently.

If you are looking to build your online trading app like Robinhood, or even better than it, then you have landed on just the right page. This article will give you a step-by-step guide on building a trading app like Robinhood. So let us start right away.

 

What is Robinhood App?

Before getting your hands dirty with development, you need to understand what the Robinhood app is, and what it does. As mentioned earlier, Robinhood is an online brokerage-free app that lets you invest in stocks for nothing. It was launched on the Apple App Store back in 2014 to make investing easy and cheaper than ever before. It allows users to buy, sell, and invest their money in the stock market straight away from their phones without needing to pay commissions, fees, or any extra costs attached whatsoever. It includes both ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) as well stock trading! The current 22.5 million active customers have executed over $150 billion+ worth of transactions since its inception.

Stock Trading App Image

What is a stock Trading App?

A stock trading app is an application that helps you make trades on the market. You can buy and sell stocks, bonds, or mutual funds with just one tap of your phone!

A lot more people are using these types of apps now because they’re making investing easier than ever before. It used to take hours for transactions to go through at best if not days or weeks during busy times in financial markets due to all kinds of numbered systems being down simultaneously (something known as “System overload”). But now, all your trades are processed almost instantly giving you more control over your money.

Why develop an app like Robinhood?

Until a few years ago, only a select few people called themselves stock investors as it required one to visit or at least talk to their broker to place their orders. But today, an app does all that for you in the blink of an eye without you needing to pay any brokerage. This efficiency of the process has brought a surge of people to the open market willing to invest their money in hope of getting easy returns. 

The online trading platform market was worth $13 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach a value of $18.3 billion by 2027, meaning that the market for these services will have grown significantly in just over 8 years! Investors have been watching the rise of this market closely and now are willing to heavily invest in such platforms.

The huge scope of growth and investors’ willingness to invest in such apps make them a hot area to start your venture in. So, if you’re thinking if it’s a good time to build such an application, then you can go all in. Who knows, you may solve a pain point so well that your startup becomes the next unicorn.

Things to consider before the development process

As a stock trading app is a finance-related app involving the exchange of real assets of users, a few important things must be considered before planning the development of an app like Robinhood. 

  • Security is a major concern for every person regardless of their technical skills. Your app must incorporate different methods of securing user data like multi-factor authorization, advanced encryption algorithms, suspicious activity monitoring, including sudden or unusual changes of the user’s location or repeated failed attempts to log in. This will help you gain your users’ trust and in turn gain more users.
  • You must plan the first version of your app in a modular way so that at later stages, you can add more functionalities to your application without disturbing the existing features.
  • You must design your app in a way that people who are not very tech-savvy can also use your application without any hassle. And you can also incorporate advanced features in your app for professional investors. In all, you should aim to cover a wider set of audience for your app.
  • People often complain that they are constantly losing their money in the market. The reason behind this is their lack of knowledge of investing. People need to be educated about the risks involved in investing and ways of investing efficiently. This will create a sense of trust in your audience and help you build a greater user base.

Working of  stock trading app like Robinhood

Online trading apps like Robinhood work by offering their users the ability to directly monitor and participate in the stock market through their phones. These apps offer insights into the companies, industries, and assets that are available for the public to invest in. 

These apps show the past performance of stocks typically in the form of a graph. They also provide information about important news, events, decisions, and other happenings related to the company.

Although, one can choose to build the entire software framework for their app that connects Stock Exchanges, Banks, and Companies together. But today, there are several APIs offered by established companies that save you the time, money, and hassle of doing all that. You can use one of these APIs for your app and start its development right away.

Features to include while building an app like Robinhood

App Features

Dashboard

In this space, a user can find out they need to know about their order status and watchlist. Users should also be able to see charts that show balances as well as holdings in addition to other important details like price points or volume levels on specific markets!

Market Insights

Users should be able to get access to market insights easily so that they can plan their investments accordingly. They should also be able to know which stocks are performing well and which are not.

User Portfolio

Investors should be able to create, watch, and maintain their portfolio of investments in stocks, bonds, ETFs, etc. without having to rely on any third-party agent.

Registration and KYC

Investors should be able to register and start trading as easy as possible. You should make a registration for your app the least time-consuming. And, by doing the KYC process online, you can make it easy and efficient for your users, and they can get started almost instantly.

Stock trading functionality

Stock trading is the central functionality of any stock trading app like Robinhood. Buying, holding, and selling stocks should be an easy and hassle process for your users.

Fund Transfer

Funds are an absolute necessity for trading. You need to give the users a system to transfer their money from their bank account to the trading account and vice versa. You should make sure that your system is secure and your users’ money stays safe.

Learning Trading

Many of your users are going to be beginners or people who have had bad prior experience in trading. You can incorporate a system to educate users about the risks associated with the market and the right ways of investing.

Watchlist

To help your users keep track of the companies they are interested in, you can add the functionality of Wishlist. Users can add the stocks they want to monitor to the wish list , and they buy them when they want.

Notifications and Alerts

Trading requires a quick response to the changes that keep happening continuously in the market. You can help your users by sending them important notifications about happenings in the market, the performance of their portfolio and other stocks of their interest, rise or fall in rates, etc.

Data Protection

As the stock market is directly related to people’s personal finances, it contains sensitive information about your users. You must ensure the safety of your users’ data. You must incorporate several measures to make your platform free from threats and vulnerabilities.

Cost of developing a trading app like Robinhood

Money Image

Several factors affect the overall cost of development of an app like Robinhood. The average cost of developing a stock trading app can range from $13,000 to $45,000. But, this is only a rough estimate. 

Factors affecting development cost of a trading app like Robinhood

You need to understand that several factors affect the overall cost of your app.

Architecture

You can choose from the two popular ways of developing software: Monolithic or Microservices. The selection of the development architecture depends on your current needs and future plans. Both have pros and cons associated with them. You must decide on one after doing a thorough analysis of your needs.

User Interface

Robinhood has a very simple and cleanly designed UI for its targeted beginner-level investor audience. You should curate the UI and UX of your app according to your target audience’s needs. 

Tech Stack

Your choice of technology that you want to build your app on can drastically affect the development cost. For example, the cost of developing the back end of your app in PHP will be considerably low than developing it on high-end technology like Ruby On Rails.

Testing

The more the phases of testing you take your app through, the more the cost will be. But, you should not compromise the security of a stock trading app at any cost.

Choice of Platform

There are three most popular platforms that you can launch your application on: Web, Android, iOS. Each one requires a separate codebase. Based on your budget, you need to decide your target platform. If you have a limited budget, you can start with one platform, and then expand to another later.

Team

The variance and size of a team is a major contributor to the development cost. A development team typically consists of

  • Project Manager
  • Android or iOS Developers
  • Frontend Developers
  • Backend Developers
  • UI/UX Designers
  • QA Engineers

The bigger and more experienced team you need, the more you will have to pay. 

Conclusion

With the rise in popularity of stock-market trading and its benefits, thousands of new investors are coming into the market every day to earn some extra money. It is a golden time for fintech companies to invest in this sector.

If you are looking for a team to develop a robust, next-generation trading app for you, then you can started right away by posting your project on Supersourcing. No matter how big and diverse team you need, you can post supersource your project on Supersourcing and hire experts on project basis within 10 days and save up to 60% of your time and money.

 

FAQs

What software does Robinhood use?

Robinhood uses a vast set of technologies to work upon like Python, React, NGINX, PostgreSQL, Bootstrap, Redis, Django, RxJava, Faust, Celery, and much more.

Is Webull better than Robinhood?

Both Webull and Robinhood are good at their niche services. Both have many similarities in terms of functionalities. But, Robinhood is designed for beginners in the market, giving them a streamlined experience, whereas Webull’s user experience is inclined more towards intermediate or advanced level investors.

Is Robinhood a trustworthy investment App?

Yes, even being commission-free, Robinhood is an absolutely safe and secure app that you can trust. It has been tested by several organizations and individuals, and they have concluded it to be a safe platform for investment, even for beginners.

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Mayank Pratap
Mayank Pratap

Mayank Pratap Singh Top writer at Entrepreneur.com, the startup, Hackernoon, StartupGrind | Helped 500+ founders to build awesome Web & App products, Hire Remote Engineers | 30+ funded, 6 selected in Y-Combinator | More than 50 founders from MIT DeltaV & Harvard innovation lab has used Supersourcing

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