Native vs cross-platform mobile banking application

Banks often ask us whether we use cross-platforms for banking applications. The answer is no and I will tell you why. 

It might seem that using cross-platform for banking (e.g. React Native, Kivy, Flutter) is a good idea, because:

  • using one framework and common code to build both apps for Android & iOS is efficient in terms of cost and time consumed for development,
  • having one developer who knows one code syntax instead of two simplifies the development and maintenance of the application in the future.

Moreover, it is believed that cross-platform approach is becoming more and more popular and the community of developers using this technology is on the rise.

This is all true and it may prove useful in certain cases but not in the case of mobile banking…

This is what we have learned from our 10+ years of experience in developing many IT projects for the banking industry:

  • Cross-platform development means compromising on quality and performance – something that simply should not be applied for banking. 
  • Most banks always strive to serve their customers with the best User Experience possible. The application needs to run smoothly and quickly and be visually attractive to the user.
  • Banking applications must continuously follow the latest market trends, e.g. implementing facial biometrics login. Such novelties are not available immediately on cross-platform tools and usually find their way to them after some time (if at all).
  • Usually, if you wish to have advanced features, you will end up with native development anyway because it cannot be done with use of any cross-platform tool.
  • Another important thing is the fact that cross-platforms are fairly new and not 100% tested. They have more and more enthusiasts but are still evolving and changing. Any errors in cross-platform take time to address or create custom workarounds, not a perfect situation when hundreds, thousands or millions of customers are using your app.

Last but not least, the benefit of using native technology is…

SECURITY

Nothing will give you more protection than a native mobile banking application that uses a number of sophisticated mechanisms to increase security. When you use native technology, all crucial support is available straight away after new algorithms or security mechanisms are being released.

A dedicated platform gives you better control over the syntax by writing lower-level code. The code is easier to debug, analyze and troubleshoot. Any problems that arise are much quicker and easier to identify by native developers.

Another very important aspect of native development is superb User Experience. Dedicated UX Design for each platform gives a fully natural ‘feel and look’ in accordance with the platform’s characteristics. Performance is also at its top speed of framerate, computing power or graphic support.

All advantages mentioned above make native apps the preferred choice if you are looking for a reliable, high-quality, and well-performing application for banking. The costs of the cross-platform approach may seem lower initially, but the loss of the all above-mentioned values is so large that it certainly more than compensates for the difference in the budget.

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Written by
Piotr Gibaszewski
Piotr Gibaszewski
Business Development Manager at FINANTEQ