How to Create an App like PayPal [Features & Cost Included]

PayPal is one of the first entrants in the P2P market and today it is the pioneer and leader in the space. Many businesses today across the globe are using PayPal as their payment service provider.


There are a few distinct features that set PayPal apart from its counterparts.

create an app like PayPal

For example, PayPal uniquely performs as a merchant account as well as a payment gateway. And even though there is no setup fee involved, consumers transacting on the app will have to bear a service and transaction fee.


The number of users using digital payments in some form or the other to make financial transactions is expected to reach 3.7 billion by the end of 2019.


Hence, there is no better time than now to create a PayPal app clone


Need to Create an App like PayPal


Recent studies show that 3 out of 4 millennials access one or more online or mobile P2P payments regularly. It is not surprising that users love to send money with only a couple of clicks and swipes.


There have been unprecedented advancements in technology and innovations like NFC and biometrics ID that have fuelled these apps to become more self-reliant.



This establishes the fact that there is ample demand in the market to develop a PayPal app or something similar to that. With the growth expected to reach $336 billion in 2021, investments have been free-flowing for fintech start-ups.


Hence, what do you need to do to create a similar app like PayPal and ensure that it becomes a success?


Read Also: 10 Best Free Budgeting Apps 2020


Steps to Create an App Like PayPal


create an app like PayPal


With the decision taken to create a PayPal like app, you need to follow these steps:


1. Project Scoping


Outline the scope of the project that should include the provision for building web, iOS and Android versions of the P2P app. Core features in the project that are a must are opening user and merchant accounts, online payment, transaction/balance reporting, etc.


2. Choose the Correct SDLC Model


Launch with an MVP model that targets specific geography and a limited set of features. Eventually, you can enhance the app, step by step, as you get more feedback from the market.


3. Come Up with a Strategic Approach to Development


You can either opt for a PaaS or MBaaS platform for the web and mobile apps respectively. Key features can be implemented here using the SDKs and APIs. Make use of IDES and frameworks to speed up the project.


4. Assign a Scrum Team


Agile projects require scrum techniques. Therefore, have an appropriate team in place that should ideally comprise of Business Analysts, UI Designers, Web Developers, Android Developers, iOS Developers, a group of Testers and Project Manager


5. Get Cloud Services


Cloud service platforms come in handy for start-ups who do not wish to immediately invest in a ton of IT infrastructure. To get the development ball rolling quickly, managed cloud services can offer features such as ready-made infrastructure, networking, server, storage, middleware, operating system, and runtime environment.


6. Get an Online Payment Solution


To create a PayPal app, you need an API/SDK solution. This can be implemented as part of the core online payment features. You can instantly start processing payments online with this built-in solution. Generally, these platforms are compatible with web, Android, and iOS.


7. Procure an ID Verification Solution


You have to be compliant with regulations governing financial institutions. For this, you must have an ID verification solution that should function to verify government provided IDs. It should also be able to handle KYC and AML processes.


8. Sign-Up for a CRM Solution


Once your P2P app is developed, you will need to integrate it with a complete gamut of business activities. For this, you need a powerful CRM solution.


9. Buy a Bulk SMS Solution


With the app deployed, you will want the users to be engaged with it. Push notification is an intelligent way to achieve this objective. A bulk SMS solution that allows you to send continuous push notifications to your users is what you need to incorporate here.


10. Download and Set-Up IDEs


You will need access to a set of development tools. For this, you need to download the following IDEs:

  • IntelliJ IDEA, for the web app development, along with this Node.js plugin
  • Android Studio, for coding the Android app
  • Xcode, for the iOS app development


11. Get on with Testing


Before you launch your web and mobile applications, you should test it out on multiple browsers and devices.


12. Develop Your Web App


Once SDKs/APIs and development tools are sorted; you should get on with developing your web application. It is recommended that you use js to code the web app to make it more scalable.


13. Design the UI for the Mobile App


Ensure that your user interface is simple and easy to use. Also, make sure that it appeals in terms of visual sensibilities combined with smart technology to your user base. Choose the navigation structure carefully and blend it with the right icons, colour schemes, and themes.


14. Code, Test and Deploy the Android App


Once your Android application moves from the drawing board to the developer’s hands, you can expedite the coding process by using Kotlin, a powerful, feature-rich language. Integrate SDKs/APIs into your code. Test your app and be ready to deploy it on Google Play store.


15. Developing the iOS App


Launching the iOS app will involve coding via using Swift that creates fast and performant apps. Develop the app using Xcode and then test it on multiple mobile devices. Integrate third-party applications along with SDKs and APIs. Publish the app as per the guidelines outlined by the Apple store.



Essential Features of the App


paypal app features


The following are the list of recommended features that you need to include when creating a PayPal app clone.


1. User Digital Wallet


Your P2P application must accommodate a digital wallet space where your users can store their card data.


2. Send and Request Money


This is a simple enough feature where users will be able to send or request funds from other users on the same platform.


3. Send Bills or Invoices


Users will be able to use the camera on their smartphones or tablets to scan bills and invoices and share with other users. Moreover, any transaction on an individual level should generate an automatic invoice.


4. Push Notifications


Push notifications should be sent out on credit and debit of funds. They should also act as reminders, for instance, due date to pay your electricity bills, etc.


Read Also: 11 Best Personal Finance Apps 2020


5. Unique ID/OTP


To make any financial transaction via the P2P app, the user must be able to verify and confirm their unique ID and OTP (one-time-password). With the help of the integrated fingerprint scanner in the device, you will be able to verify transactions through fingerprint scanning alone.


6. Transfer to a Bank Account


The app should be developed with a feature that will enable the user to transfer funds not just on the same platform but also to a bank account or card.


7. Multiple Currency and Automated Conversion Process


The application should support the feature where users can send or receive funds in multiple currencies, globally. The incorporation of a mechanized currency converter can be really helpful as the entire process of the conversion rate depends on it.


8. Track Payments & Check History


Users must be able to track their financial history – received and sent payments, dates, and correct time on the app. To substantiate and scale this feature, you need to send weekly or monthly emails to the users, informing of their updated financial transactions during a given period.


9. Chat


If the users wish to seek clarification concerning payment, then introducing a chat feature will be certainly beneficial. It will also add great value and a competitive edge to your application. Besides that, it will reduce the number of possible mistakes.


10. Messaging


At times users may need to add details along with their transaction. This can be done by introducing the messaging feature.


11. Admin Panel


This feature is more relevant to the app owner. A web admin panel needs to be created that will help the owner to manage the app, edit, remove, and so on.


12. Secure Networks


Security is of paramount importance in a payment application as data transmission and storage are at a high risk of compromising. Blockchain technology can come to your rescue here that assists you to take advantage of peer-to-peer networks.


How the App Makes Money?

how app make money

Online payment apps need to make money too. Therefore, a monetization strategy or a revenue model should be in place to ensure the app’s success. After all, every entrepreneur needs their venture to be profitable within a reasonable time.


You can go with two models of revenue generation when you develop a PayPal app version.


1. Premium Service Method


You can let your consumers access basic features such as transferring funds, accessing transaction history, and more on the free version of the application.


However, high-end features such as cryptocurrency transactions, text messaging facility, currency rates, and conversion facility, etc. should only be accessible on the paid version of the app.


2. Affiliate Marketing Method


Allow complementary financial institutions like banks, credit card companies or similar organizations to advertise their products and services on your app’s interface.


Trends & Statistics


trends and stat


According to the Allied Market Research report, the mobile payment market was valued at over $600 billion in 2016. eMarketer reports that there were around 82.5 million mobile phone P2P payments users in the United States alone.


It is estimated that over 50% of these users will make at least one P2P transaction per month by 2022.


Thus, P2P payments phenomena are quickly growing momentum. And that is simply because of the convenience that it offers to users in transferring funds via a secure and easy environment.


How Much Does it Cost to Create an App Like Paypal


paypal app cost


An application like PayPal is a complex entity, especially with its set of security measures.  Other parameters that come into play are team constitution, third party integrations, location of the development team, list of features, etc.


Based on the features discussed, Android and iOS apps can cost anywhere between $ 100,000 and $ 150,000.


Similar Apps


There are many players in the online payment app segment that are constantly competing with one another to gain market share. So, when you are developing a PayPal app, it is wise to evaluate your immediate competition.


Take a look at some of the well-known payment apps currently operating in the market:


  • Venmo
  • Zelle
  • Cashapp
  • Transferwise
  • InstaRem
  • Remitly
  • MoneyGram
  • TorFX
  • WorldFirst
  • OFX


Read Also: How Much Does it Cost to Create an App Like Mint




With P2P apps being the new trend in the financial segment, you won’t be wrong to go ahead with creating a PayPal app or something that closely resembles it. But you will need a lot of help with the actual process.



At Redbytes UK, we have experienced team of developers who have worked on similar high-end projects in the market. With years of industry exposure and hands-on experience, your project could not have been in better and more capable hands.


So, what are you waiting for? Let’s create wonders together. Get in touch.