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4 Best Mobile App Monetization Strategies For Fintech Firms


13 min read

More than 5 billion people engage with mobile apps daily. Thus, if your fintech app isn’t generating revenue now, it might be time to reassess your strategy and explore ways to enhance its performance to monetize app.

Financial apps are consistently in demand. They provide essential services for tasks like money transfers, expense tracking, and online loan applications, all from the comfort of one’s home. To ensure success, your fintech app should seamlessly cater to user needs. It can generate income without complicated strategies if it aligns with their preferences.

However, if you need more than a straightforward approach of mobile app monetization for fintech and wonder about offering free features versus paid ones, let’s delve into effective mobile app monetization strategies for your fintech solution.

I’ll guide you through understanding and implementing these strategies, helping your app not only meet user expectations but also thrive in the competitive fintech landscape.

Can Fintech Investment be An Alternative Monetization App Model?

Some of the most successful fintech startups in the US and UK, like Monzo, Revolut, and N26, became billion-dollar companies without relying on the usual app monetization ways of making money from mobile apps.

You might have heard about their massive funding rounds, with Monzo now valued at over $2.5 billion, Revolut at $1.7 billion, and N26 at an impressive $3.5 billion. But here’s the catch — does all this growth and investment mean they are making a profit? Surprisingly, the answer is not always a clear yes. Some fintech startups, like N26, say profit-making isn’t their primary focus.

Many fintech companies spend a lot on marketing and getting more users, putting off making money directly from the app. But in a world of fierce competition, is this startup strategy reliable? I think there’s a more thoughtful way to approach the query of how to monetize an app and start making money with it.

Making your fintech app successful is primarily about being smart with your costs. The first thing you should care about is not revenue increase but optimizing costs to strengthen your business.

Step one: Don’t start with monetization — start with technical optimization.

Optimizing costs isn’t just about cutting corners; it’s about making your operations work better and cost less. DashDevs specializes in technical optimization, which means we ensure your fintech app runs smoothly and costs you less. This approach allows you not just to save money but to stay strong in the long run.

Step two: Choose consulting services for smart decision-making

Fintech is always about making money, which is synonymous with making smart decisions. So the second piece of advice is always to consult with professionals before making significant moves in your business. Don’t impulsively spend all your money on targeted or in-app ads — seek advice first.

DashDevs, with our deep knowledge and hands-on experience in fintech, offers consulting services to help you navigate the ins and outs of making money with your app.

I am trying to say that your fintech app’s success is about more than just making more money. It’s always a balance of increasing your income, optimizing your costs, and ensuring your technology is top-notch.

What Are Monetization Strategies Across Different Sectors?

So, how do fintechs make money, and what are the best ways to monetize an app without ads and make your business viable?

App monatization strategies.

The revenue models can vary depending on the type of your fintech company. The major functional domains of financial technology startups are the following:

#1. Personal finance management

People can easily monitor their income and spending, keep track of their monthly payments, and plan out their budget via their mobile devices. These apps usually don’t charge for the basic features, but they can charge for additional ones, like advanced tools inside the app or personal finance consultant. However, for them, the best mobile iOS or Android app monetization strategy would be a combination of a few approaches.

#2. Crowdfunding

Marketplaces like Seedrs, Funding Circle, Kickstarter, and Patreon enable individuals to send and raise funds from other users and pool capital from several sources in one place.

#3. Cryptocurrencies

Exchange platforms like, Coinbase, and Gemini connect customers to buying and selling cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Litecoin. They make money from fees when a user buys or sells crypto. In this business model, the monetization of an app may be challenging due to the legal requirements, but not necessarily.

#4. Insurance

Insurtech startups like Coverfox, Friendsurance, BIMA, and Metromile apply Data Science, IoT, and other digital solutions to disrupt the global insurance industry and offer better user experiences. They earn money mainly from premiums, which are payments people make for insurance. Additionally, they invest these premiums to make extra money.

#5. Lending and financing 

Online money lending is one of the key trends in fintech mobile app development. People no longer need to travel to banks or credit unions to get a loan when they can apply online and receive a rapid response. These companies make money by charging interest on loans. 

#6. Payment and money transfer

Companies like TransferWise, PayPal, or Venmo empower individuals to make domestic and international payments online or on mobile devices. They use different ways to monetize mobile apps. Banks often charge a hefty fee for simple peer-to-peer transactions, but fintech startups do it swiftly and inexpensively.

#7. Robo-advising and stock trading

This type of service is reasonably called one of the most significant innovations in financial technology. Robo-advising firms like eToro, Robinhood, and Acorns offer algorithm-driven recommendations for more efficient asset management at lower costs. Meanwhile, stock-trading applications empower users to buy and sell stocks with only a few clicks. How to monetise an app like that? You can make a profit from the fees users pay.

These are just the main categories in the financial technology market and some of the biggest fintech companies mentioned as examples. Many companies implement features from different software groups to offer better financial experiences to consumers and businesses alike.

For instance, The DashDevs team has built Dozens from scratch — one of the best fintech apps in the UK that offers smart budgeting as its main feature; however, beyond that, it provides detailed spend analysis, domestic and international transfers, risk assessment and investment management, and advanced security measures in one powerful app.

What Are Mobile App Monetization Models?

When deciding to monetize new fintech solutions or services, your first question should be: who will pay?

You may launch app monetization without ads. To provide you with an overview of options, I’ve analyzed popular financial technology firms and created three primary categories of payers that software solutions rely on:

#1. Consumers (examples: Digit, MoneyLion, Truebill)

Users pay for the value that they gain from the application. For instance, Digit clients pay a monthly subscription fee ($5) after a 30-day free trial. Besides membership, MoneyLion also gets mobile application monetization from its partnership with TransUnion and Equifax, offering customers related credit monitoring services. The Truebill team helps you lower your bills and charge a 40 percent fee of your savings.

#2. Third-party sellers (examples: Credit Karma, Intuit Mint)

External sellers pay for referrals, for example in video ads. Credit Karma generates income from its financial partners. The company utilizes algorithms to select and show relevant ads to its 100 million members all over the world and get paid when you follow these recommendations. Mint combines several app earning ideas, as it also gets profit from premium subscriptions (credit monitoring service) and referrals. Additionally, it sells advertising space, and displays targeted ads based on your search history or profile.

#3 .Third-party beneficiaries (examples: Chime, Intuit Mint)

The use of a fintech app itself generates direct (monetary) and indirect value for outside organizations. When Chime customers pay for purchases with a Visa Debit Card, the latter charges an interchange fee (IRF) from the trader and later pays a part to Chime. Mint raises revenue collecting and selling anonymized consumer data to merchants or other outside organizations, providing them with access to real ideas.

Nowadays, the ‘customer pays’ model is the most common software revenue strategy. Most stakeholders start with choosing one core app monetization program because creating a revenue model requires single-minded focus, thorough analysis, and constant tweaking. As fintech business matures and grows, entrepreneurs usually have more time and resources to build new revenue methods and extend app functionality.

How To Monetize An App With Ads?

Here are a few tips to monetize your app with adverts.

Tips on how to monetize your app with adverts.

Mobile Banners

Desktop websites often include banner ads in the headers, footers, and sidebars. Publishers of mobile apps tell ad servers where to put banner ads, making sure to put them in places where they are easy to see and won’t get in the way of the user’s experience.

In-App Ads

Native ads within your app are designed to complement the appearance and feel of your app. A native ad on a news app, for example, may seem to be another news piece, but it is really ad content from an advertiser. These advertisements are often labeled with a “sponsored” tag or a similar description.

Reward for an App Viewing

When done properly, rewarded advertising may have a big influence on ad metrics such as video completion rate. As a consequence, the app’s users will get nothing in exchange for seeing the ad. So when you use this approach to monetize Android app or iOS one, users are often rewarded with in-app currency, such as points or additional lives.

Gamified In-App Ads

Premium in-app ad services, such as playable mobile commercials, are only available via high-end ad partners. Advertisements with gaming aspects are known as “gamified ads”, and they are most often used to promote mobile apps. It’s a wonderful match for the app market since the vast majority of in-app advertisements promote other apps.

How To Monetize An App Without Ads?

Download fees. Charging for app downloads in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store is a frequent income technique for new mobile app developers. However, if you are offering knowledge that is really valuable to the end user, this strategy might be quite profitable. Customers are less likely to pay for an app if they can get the content they desire elsewhere rather than via the app store.

Subscription. Your app may need a monthly or annual membership charge rather than a one-time purchase. It’s also a popular method to earn money using smartphone applications.

Freemium. This is a mix of paid software and subscriptions, in-app advertising, and other income sources that incorporates the best of both worlds. The freemium app revenue model lets you give away some of your app’s features and content for free, but users who want the full experience must pay a one-time fee or a monthly subscription fee. This is the best monetization model for apps that have a lot of features and can divide them into different plans.

Affiliate marketing. Your app could be used to entice app users to download or buy other apps or products.

In-app purchases. Even if users don’t have to purchase your app, you can still sell things inside the app to generate revenue. This is one of the most common fintech app monetization strategies for brands that actually have products to sell, but it isn’t limited to that sphere.

Data monetization. Never before has first-party data been more valuable. You may use this data to learn more about your app’s demographics and how they use it. As a consequence, marketers are keen to get this sort of information. Publishers with a large and engaged user base are more likely to succeed with data monetization than those without. Without a significant number of users, the data you do have is worthless.

Transaction fees. This approach can only help an online marketplace. Users must buy or sell anything on your app, and you must get a share of each transaction.

We can offer our extensive experience in this field

How To Monetize Your Mobile App On Play Store?

Opting for one or more software modernization models, keep in mind that your choice affects the entire fintech product development process, as well as on the promotion strategy and customer service.

Fintech revenue models can be divided into four categories:

#1. Fee schedule — it’s one of the most straightforward ways to monetize web apps and mobile solutions. Payment schedules vary, depending on the regularity of charges and can be transactional or subscription. With a transactional approach, users pay a fee only when they actually use a service, while with a subscription model, a fixed commission is charged per unit of time.

  • Example: Most money transfer firms utilize a transactional payment schedule and withdraw commissions for every fund transfer or currency conversion. TransferWise and Payoneer can charge from 1% to 3%, while such services as WorldRemit charge a flat fee depending on the recipient country, and in most cases, it’s $3.99.
  • Example: Qapital is a personal money management tool that implements gamification principles to help people save money. The company offers a 30-day trial and three subscription options with monthly fixed fees.

#2. In-app advertising and referrals — users don’t necessarily need to pay with money to use your services. As an alternative, business owners can implement a so-called fintech p2p marketplace and capitalize on the products by offering customers’ attention or data to advertisers and business partners. Moreover, some companies turn customers into lead generators, motivating them to invite friends or relatives, and get bonuses.

  • Example: NerdWallet is a fintech consulting tool that offers unbiased advice, expert information, and useful tools to help individuals make smarter financial decisions. The company gets compensation from its partners as it reviews and promotes their services and products to NerdWallet customers.
  • Example: Robinhood is a stock-trading tool that promotes investing and helps individuals make their money work even harder. The company has a successful referral program that encourages customers to invite their friends and rewards them with up to $500 in free stocks when invitee joins the platform.

#3. Business collaboration — today even the fastest-growing fintech companies partner with traditional financial institutions or neighboring vendors, thus expanding the range of services and providing additional value to their customers.

  • Example: Coinbase is a marketplace for buying, selling, and storing cryptocurrency with over 30 million users. The firm has a partnership with large companies such as Expedia, Time, Overstock, Dell, and others, empowering them to accept bitcoin payments. Additionally, Coinbase has enabled bitcoin payment processing functionality for Braintree, Stripe, and PayPal.

#4. API as a product — application programming interface (API) is the best way to access necessary functionality without the need to invest in a costly and time-consuming development. In fact, API users send requests to some services, and these services get back with responses. With the recent introduction of open banking, the process becomes more complicated, as European banks are now required to provide API at no charge, so they have to develop both free and paid APIs to embrace this business model.

  • Example: Speedly is a payment platform with a primary focus on e-commerce. It offers an API that enables online stores to connect to several payment services at once. The company charges a fixed commission for API use monthly and also fines from 1 to 5 cents for every API call, depending on the business plan.

For fintech stakeholders exploring revenue sources, a wide variety of opportunities is available, no matter if you decide to monetize your app with ads or continuously ask yourself ‘how to monetize apps without ads.’ Choosing among these business models of fintech companies, it is critical not only to opt for the one that fits your overall strategy best but also to assume which ones could become viable after a while.

How Does App Monetization Work?

It could not be denied that different payer categories and revenue models will be more appropriate for various businesses, depending on a range of factors, like:

  • what value is offered;
  • who is the audience;
  • what type of engagement the app generates.

To make it easier for fintech firms to reach out to their payers, we’ve prepared a short checklist to make the selected app income model achievable.


  • Your solution brings enough value to provide users with clear economic benefits that exceed fees;
  • The value can be easily characterized and communicated to customers, so they perceive it;
  • Your software product is way better or cheaper as compared to the competitors, so it’s worth switching providers.

Third-party sellers:

  • External vendors and advertisers believe that your user base is well-qualified for their products;
  • Your user base is rather large and engaged to outweigh the advertising or referral costs;
  • You know your users well enough to create targeted offers, and they trust your source to proceed with your offerings.

Third-party beneficiaries:

  • You can make it clear for the third parties that they gain sufficient benefits from customers using your app;
  • You can explain causal relationships between your software users and the value obtained by third parties;
  • Your consumer engagement is fairly high to generate material value for third parties.


These days, more and more entrepreneurs create digital products to offer “banking as a service” and take customer experience to the next level. They create fresh value propositions and adhere to the principles of “doing good” and “doing well.” Fintech startups make the most of cheaper digital operations, agile and brave innovation culture, customer-centered solutions, and the lack of legacy systems to help people manage their funds more productively, including how they make a living, spend, transfer, invest, borrow, or save.

Meaningful business liability is no easy task, but with this research, we want to inspire business owners to create effective revenue streams and contribute to the growth of the financial services industry.

How DashDevs can help?

DashDevs can consult you on multiple fintech-related aspects and assist you with the proper implementation of the right app revenue strategy. We perform Fintech Consulting and Software Development services in the areas of technology and tool selection, security and compliance, domestic and international payments, card issuing, and general ledger systems, based on strong fintech domain knowledge, proven track record, and skilled fintech app developers and consultants. Click here for more information.

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Table of contents
What is App Monetization?
App monetization refers to the revenue generation process from a mobile application. Fintech apps employ various marketing strategies, such as in-app ads, subscriptions, freemium models, or transaction fees.
How to Monetize an App?
Monetizing an app involves choosing a revenue model that aligns with your app's purpose. Options include in-app advertising, subscriptions, freemium models, affiliate marketing, in-app purchases, or transaction fees. The choice depends on the value your app provides and your target audience.
What is a Monetization Strategy?
A monetization strategy is a plan or approach to generate revenue from a mobile app. Depending on your business goals and user base, you can adopt different fintech strategies for fintech apps, including in-app ads, subscription models, freemium offerings, affiliate marketing, in-app purchases, or transaction fees.
How Does a Mobile Banking App Make Money?
A mobile banking app makes money through various monetization models. This can include transaction fees for services like money transfers, subscription charges for premium features, in-app advertising, or collaboration with third-party financial services. The choice of strategy depends on the app's focus, user value, and business goals.
How to Build a Fintech App?
Building a fintech app involves several steps. Begin with technical optimization to ensure smooth operations. Consulting with professionals like DashDevs can guide you in making smart decisions. Define your app's focus: personal finance management, crowdfunding, cryptocurrencies, insurance, lending, payment, or robo-advising. Choose a monetization model that aligns with your business goals, such as fee schedules, in-app advertising, business collaboration, or API as a product. Lastly, prioritize cost optimization to strengthen your fintech app in the long run.