How to Create an App Like Robinhood From Scratch in 5 Steps

Have an idea to create a stock trading app like Robinhood? Ever thought about how much it costs to create an app like Robinhood?

You are at the right place. The blog focuses on trading app development like Robinhood.

According to a report published by Robinhood company itself, the app has generated total net revenue of $1.82 billion in the whole of 2021. Compared to December 2020 the company shows a growth of 89%. In addition, the Robinhood app has over 22M+ investors. So, there is no doubt that the fin-tech industry is profitable for starting a business.

If you are wondering how to create an app like Robinhood to leverage the opportunity, then keep reading this blog.

With research and help from our experienced fintech app developers, we have curated this guide to walk you through the process of developing a fintech app, its development cost, and the technology stack to build a stock trading app.

Let’s dive into the blog.

Statistics on Robinhood and Stock Trading App Market

Before you create your own stock trading app, check the following statistics. Knowing these FinTech and e-trading apps market statistics helps you make better decisions.

  • As per a report published by Robinhood, the transaction-based revenues of Robinhood for the year 2021 have increased to $1.40 billion.
  • The monthly active users of the Robinhood app have increased to 17.3 million for the year 2021.
  • The Robinhood app has over 4M ratings and stands at the #24 position in the Finance category in the Apple App Store.
  • As per Google Consumer Insights, the investing and stock-related app searches have risen by 115% YOY.
  • According to Statista, as of July 2021, the monthly active users of the Robinhood trading app were 7.3 million.
  • According to a report of SensorTower, the asset management apps record installs of more than 35 million downloads in Q2 2021 alone in the USA. The surge of over 198 percent quarter over the previous quarter.

These statistics prove the future of stock training app development is promising. This brings the right opportunity for you to create a stock market application. Let’s know how to create an app for smartphones to trade stocks. Here’s the step-by-step process of stock trading app development.

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How to Create an App Like Robinhood in 5 Easy Steps

Steps to Create an App Like Robinhood

We have simplified the app development process into five steps. Follow these 5 steps to build a Robinhood-like app that is seamless for your users.

  1. Define the Scope of Your Stock Trading App

  2. First, you need to define the goals of your application. To do the same, you have to identify your users’ expectations. Make a note of all the core expectations. Define your requirements and outline them. Following each of these points helps you be clear with your mobile application idea and the problems you will solve for your users.

    As you have an idea of your target audience, then you need to address their problems. Therefore, decide on the following points.

    • What type of services do you want to provide through your mobile application?
    • What features do you want to integrate into your mobile app?
    • Which specific problems of your stock trading app will solve?
    • Would you provide users discounts and referral coupons?
    • Do you want to scale your stock trading app in the future?
    • Will there be two-step authentication in your stock application?
    • What level of security do you want to provide in the stock market app?

    Writing down answers to the above questions helps you define your application’s scope. This helps you to set up a defined boundary for your application. Once you define your stock market application scope, it’s time to decide on the mobile application platform.

  3. Decide the Mobile App Platform

  4. To create a successful stock trading mobile app with an interactive and smooth interface, you need to be very sure about the operating system. You need to decide on the mobile app platform for your fintech application. There are three types of mobile app platforms. They are as follows:

    • Native mobile app platform
    • Hybrid mobile app platform
    • Progressive web apps

    Let’s get a brief understanding of different mobile platforms.

    Native Mobile App Platform

    Native mobile applications are built for a particular operating system using a programming language. Either the mobile application is built for iOS or Android. A native mobile app can’t work on both operating systems with a single codebase. Check the following financial applications built with the native mobile app platform.

    App IconTrading Mobile App NameRatings and Reviews (Google Play Store)Download Play Store LinkDownload App Store Link
    Robinhood iconRobinhoodRating: 3.8
    Reviews: 450.4K
    Play storeApp store
    Wealthfront iconWealthfrontRating: 4.6
    Reviews: 4.69K
    Play storeApp store

    Hybrid Mobile App Platform

    Hybrid mobile applications are built with a single code that runs on both platforms; iOS and Android. You don’t need to develop a similar application for two different platforms separately. Check the following financial applications built with the hybrid mobile app platform.

    App IconFinance Mobile AppRatings and ReviewsDownload Play Store LinkDownload App Store Link
    MarketWatch iconMarketWatchRating: 4.4
    Reviews: 40.5K
    Play storeApp store
    NerdWallet iconNerdWalletRating: 4.6
    Reviews: 17.5K
    Play storeApp store

    Progressive Web Apps

    A progressive web app is built with web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Progressive web apps are reliable, scalable, and installable on mobile devices. You use such progressive web apps on any platform like iOS, Android, or web browser/systems.

    Let’s take a look at two examples of financial apps built with PWA technology. Check the following financial applications built with PWAs.

    App IconFinance Mobile App NameRatings and Reviews (Apple App Store)Download Play Store LinkDownload App Store Link
    ubank iconubankPlay store
    Coinbase iconCoinbaseRating: 4.1
    Reviews: 700.0K
    Play storeApp store

    As stock trading apps are complex and involve multiple operations, so to provide seamless interaction within the app, the native platform is preferred. In some cases, the stock trading or crypto trading apps uses cross-platform technology to increase their app compatibility on other platforms. But, to provide an extensive and seamless user experience, using a native platform is suitable.

    Generally, to decide on a mobile app platform, consider the following points.

    • Geo-location of your app development team
    • E-trading app development time
    • Complexity of your stock trading app

    In case you are unable to decide on a mobile app platform for your stock trading app, then consult with an experienced mobile app development company. They will guide you in choosing the right mobile app platform for your stock trading app development.

  5. Approach Custom Stock Market App Development Company

  6. After creating a basic outline of your stock trading app, you need to approach a professional and reputed mobile app development company. Why? Why not freelancers?

    The reason a mobile app development company has expertise in developing mobile apps for multiple industries. By leveraging the technical experience of a mobile app development company, you will create a feature-rich and interactive stock trading app.

    But how do you choose the right mobile app development company?

    To choose the right mobile app development company for your project stock app, you need to consider several factors. They are as follows:

    • Check the reputed platforms like G2, GoodFirms, and Clutch to find app development companies
    • Make a list of the best mobile app development companies
    • Check whether the company has experience in the fintech application development or not
    • Check the portfolio of the top mobile app development companies
    • Know the app development process of companies
    • Check if the app development companies follow coding standards
    • Get an idea on communication process of the companies to see if its smooth
    • Check the testimonials of the app development companies
    • Know the pricing model of app development companies

    Researching all the above points helps you to choose the right mobile app development company for your project. So, once you select the app development company, then they will start working on your trading and investing platform development.

    To create a stock trading app like Robinhood or E-trade, clearly communicate your requirements. It helps you to reduce the changes in your trading application later. As much as you clear the requirements about your mobile application idea, it becomes easy for your trading app developers to create a stock trading application.

  7. Meet the Regulatory Compliance in the Financial Services

  8. Remember your trading application must comply with regulations of financial services. It is essential because users will make financial decisions on your mobile application. Moreover, your mobile application deals with the trading of stock in real time. So, you need to follow the guidelines of international or governmental financial institutes.

    In the USA, for instance, the local fintech apps follow the laws of CFPB – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This financial authority ensures the consumer’s protection laws. So, any fraud applications cannot cheat the users. There are several financial services, and those are as follows:

    • CFTC – Commodity Futures Trading Commission
    • FinCEN – Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
    • BSA – Bank Secrecy Act
    • NFA – National Futures Association

    All the mobile apps related to trading are regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the self-regulatory FINRA (Finance Industry Regulatory Authority).

    Also, being a stock trading company, you need to adhere to the anti-money laundering mobile app rules. So, when creating a mobile stock training app, you need to do a lot of paperwork.

    Before you make your stock trading app into reality for your users, it needs to be safe and secure for the end-users.

  9. Test and Launch Your Robinhood-like App

  10. When your stock trading app is developed, mobile app testers conduct testing to ensure the app is bug-free. Your stock trading app is tested on various parameters like functionality, logic, and design. Mobile app testers perform testing to know whether your app is functioning properly or not.

    For that, different types of mobile app testing are done, like performance testing, usability testing, security testing, and memory leak testing. Once testing of your stock trading app like Robinhood is done, your mobile app is ready for uploading to the app stores. Bug-free stock trading apps created with high-standard code get easy approval from the app stores like Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

    These are the five steps that help you create a successful stock trading app. But, you might be wondering about the cost of creating a stock trading platform like Robinhood. Let’s find out.

How Long Does It Take to Develop an App Like Robinhood?

The average time required to create an app like Robinhood range from 5-6 months for each platform, i.e., Android and iOS.

Generally, the hours of trading app development depend on the following factors.

  • Features and functionalities
  • UI/UX of the mobile application
  • Mobile app platform (Android or iOS)
  • Integration of data encryption
  • Integration of business model
  • Development of admin panel
  • Integration of third-party API services
  • Locations of developers you hire

The mobile application development timeline also include the integration of features shown in the following table.

  • Create or Register
  • User Portfolio
  • Search and Sorting Capabilities
  • Stock Quotes
  • In-app Learning
  • Verification of Investor
  • Market Data Collect
  • Selling and Buying Functions
  • Watchlist
  • Payment Integration
  • User Dashboard
  • Real-time Charts
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Push Notifications
  • Depositing Money

But, how much does it cost to create an application like Robinhood? Let’s find out in the following section.

How Much Does It Cost to Create an App Like Robinhood?

Cost to Create an App Like Robinhood

The approximate cost of developing an app like Robinhood ranges between $30,000 to $1,00,000.

A trading app development cost depends on several factors, such as the design of the app, location of app developers, features, integration of APIs, tech stack, app complexity, and mobile app platform.

As your stock trading app becomes more complex by adding functionalities and features, so does the price of cost of your stock trading mobile application.

To create your stock trading mobile application, developers need to create different sub-applications for both mobile app platform users. In addition, create a dashboard application to manage your core application that will be used by the end-users.

  • Android version of stock trading app
  • iOS version of stock trading app
  • Admin panel and API integration

As said above, the cost of developing a stock trading app like Robinhood depends on the location of developers you hire. Check the following table to know the hourly rate of mobile app developers from different geographical locations.

Location of DevelopersHourly Rate of App Developers
iOSAndroid
The USA$70 – $120$60 – $120
Canada$80 – $120$50 – $130
Australia$90 – $120$100 – $120
Ukraine$40 – $70$35 – $70
India$30 – $70$25 – $50

If you are curious to know in detail about the cost, here is an in-depth guide about mobile app development cost.

Furthermore, check the following image that includes the information on app development costs worldwide.

app development cost

So, this was all about the cost of developing an application like Robinhood for stock trading. To build a successful and scalable stock trading app like Robinhood, you need to use the right technology stack. To help you, we have described the technology stack that is used in trading application development.

Want to Develop a Custom Stock Trading Software?

Want to know the exact cost estimate for developing a custom trading platform? Get a free consultation to discuss your app requirements. Our professional will provide you with detailed cost estimation.

Technology Stack to Develop an App Like Robinhood

Being a leading mobile app development company in Canada, we use these technologies to build stock trading solutions. Check the following table that includes the information on the technology stack for building stock trading applications.

Technology Stack To Develop Investing App
Mobile App
  • Flutter or
  • ReactNative
  • Android (Kotlin/Java)
  • iOS (Swift/Objective-C)
Database
  • MongoDB
  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL
Backend
  • Python
  • Laravel
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Nodejs
Utilities
  • Google Analytics
Version Controls
  • Git
  • Apache SVN
Business Tools
  • Slack
  • G-suite
  • Asana
  • Jera
  • Trello
DevOps
  • Docker
  • Jenkins
  • GitLab CI/CD
Payment Gateway
  • Stripe
  • PayPal
  • 2Checkout
  • Moneris

To take your stock trading app ahead of your competitors, we have described a brief about the unique features in the next section. Implementing these features into your stock trading application will surely make your app unique from other online stock trading apps.

6 Unique Features of an App Like Robinhood

Here’s the table that includes advanced features to include in your stock trading mobile application.

List of Advanced Features for Robinhood-like App
Feature NameDescription
Predictive Analysis ToolA feature that analyzes historical data in the finance market and makes predictions based on the available data for the future. It works as a kind of machine learning.
Robo AdvisorIt is a feature that uses mathematical calculations to provide financial investment advice to users based on their previous investments.
Add to WatchlistIt is a special feature that allows your users to add favourite stocks to their wishlist to keep an eye on them. This way, it eliminates the efforts of users to often search on the stock and check its market value.
Set Custom AlertsWith this feature, you send essential push notifications on the stock, events, earnings, price drops, and growth of stocks. Also, providing a custom alerts setup allows your users to get notifications accordingly.
Buy and Sell CryptoWith this feature, you allow users to make real-time trades of cryptocurrencies. Even, you can charge trading fees to your users.
ETF Screener ToolIt is a tool that allows your users to filter and find ETFs based on specific criteria out of all the available ETFs in the market.

Do you have any questions related to stock trading applications? Check the following frequently asked questions section, which includes top queries searched on Google as well.

FAQ About Creating an App Like Robinhood

  1. How does the Robinhood app make money?

    There are multiple ways in which Robinhood apps make money. They are as follows:

    • Subscription model – The Robinhood app offers gold membership to users
    • Stock loan – Users need to pay a 2.5% of interest rate when borrowing a loan of more than $1,000
    • Fees on transfers – Users need to pay a $75 transfer fee if they want to transfer their money from Robinhood to another broker
    • Uninvested money – Primarily, it earns money by depositing cash into interest-bearing bank accounts
    • Interchange fees – It earns fees on the debit card withdrawal to other accounts or debit cards
  2. How does the Robinhood app work?

    The Robinhood is a free online stock trading application that allows users to stock and exchange funds with real-time information. You are free to buy and sell any stocks in the market with real-time information and apply any investment strategy as you like to earn profits.

  3. What are the third-party APIs to integrate into Robinhood-like apps?

    There are various third-party API services available to integrate into your stock trading application. We have shared a list of a few APIs that are beneficial to integrate. Here are the names of API services.

    • DriveWealth – It provides nearly every possible end-to-end solution for any investment in the app.
    • Alpaca – It simply allows any business or individual to connect applications and build algorithms for buying and selling stocks.
    • Bloomberg API – This Server API allows you contain Bloomberg’s real-time market, historical, key reference data, and calculation tools.
    • Alpha Vantage – It allows you to obtain the historical and real-time data of several trade markets.
  4. What are the advanced technologies used in trading apps like Robinhood?

    The following three advanced technologies will help you make your stock trading app or financial system, like Robinhood, smart for your users.

Develop Your Custom Trading App Like Robinhood

In this blog, you have learned almost every essential information to building a stock trading app like Robinhood. You learned about the development process of stock trading apps, development technologies, cost, timeline, and unique features to include in your application. Even, you learned about how much money Robinhood is making?

Are you looking to develop a mobile trading platform for trading stocks? Or want to develop a web application for the stock market? We are a leading mobile app development company in Canada. With years of experience, our developers have expertise in developing custom mobile and web applications. Let’s get in touch.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.