Features and cost of developing your own cashback application

What could be nicer than a refund to your account after making a purchase? Cashback has captured the hearts of all users and even partly become a criterion for choosing a store to buy. In addition to banking applications that offer this possibility, there are also many more applications, specially created for this purpose. But despite the fact that there are already quite a lot of them, this area is still promising and attracts the attention of startups. Let’s see how to create a cashback service and make a profit from it.

How the cashback app works

How the cashback app works

App cashback is a service that allows you to return part of the money spent on the purchase back to the account of the buyer. This nice bonus contributes to sales growth and customer loyalty.

The principle of operation of such applications is quite simple: the user makes a purchase through the application in one of the partner stores, transfers funds for the purchase, the store confirms the transaction and charges a commission to the cashback service for attracting a client, and the service transfers part of this commission back to the buyer, thus making a profit, and providing cashback for its users.

As you can see, such an application is beneficial for everyone: the store receives an additional channel for attracting customers, the service receives a commission, and the user receives a refund that can be withdrawn back to the account and spent on new purchases. Let’s look at the specific issues regarding the development of a cashback service. 

Main and additional functions of the application

Main and additional functions of the application

The functionality of the application can be as diverse as possible and include any features you want. Nevertheless, it’s not always advisable to immediately implement all the planned functions, because sometimes their cost may turn out to be unreasonably high, or even at an affordable price, the function will be completely irrelevant.

Therefore, before making a final decision about the functionality, we recommend ‌you to conduct a thorough market analysis and as many tests as possible. For example, it makes sense to use an MVP to make sure the application as it is will be in-demand, as well as to get some feedback from users. To do this, the minimum number of functions will be enough for you, only the most basic ones: 

  • the ability to register in the application; 
  • search for stores and monitoring offers; 
  • withdrawal of cashback to the card; 
  • the ability to add stores to the list; 
  • statistics. 

This set of functionality will be enough to start. And when your application proves itself and you are confident in the next steps, you can gradually introduce additional features. And users will only need to update the version of the application to gain access to new features. Among all the functions and characteristics of the cashback application, one could distinguish the following list of most popular and in-demand options:

  • intuitive and attractive interface; 
  • registration through mail or social networks; 
  • multilingualism; 
  • search by different criteria (cashback size, store, product category, rating, and so on); 
  • favorites; 
  • purchase history; 
  • cashback status; 
  • ratings and reviews; 
  • notifications and alerts; 
  • control panel for application management; 
  • a separate account for stores with the ability to manage offers; 
  • statistics (customers will enjoy received and withdrawn cashback; stores will like income and commissions issued; the application will benefit from commissions received, cashback issued, and so on).

You can expand the functionality of your application based on the needs and wishes of your audience. The main thing is that all your innovations are useful and cost-effective.

Features of the development of cashback services

Let’s take a look at how to create your own cashback service. Although the direct development of such applications is a relatively simple task, there’s a number of nuances that need to be taken into account even before making a cashback service. These issues can be quite challenging and require significant learning and creativity. But if you manage them, your application will have every chance of success.

1. Store promotion

First of all, in order to create a cashback service, you need to agree on a partnership with stores. You can’t just connect a store to your system and profit from what your users buy from it. Firstly, it’s the store that charges you a commission, from which you get profit, and users get cashback, and you need to agree on this with the store. Secondly, connecting cashback services to stores requires a certain API from the store, or connection through a personal account or card. In any case, you cannot do this unilaterally since the store also requires certain actions, or at least consent to them. We have already said that such interaction is beneficial for the store. However, not all conditions can be mutually beneficial, and not all stores generally agree to work under such a program.

2. Uniqueness


There are already quite a few cashback apps out there, so you need to show all your resourcefulness and all your creativity to come up with a new and fresh idea that will not have competition. The easiest way to get an edge over similar apps is to provide more choices. The more stores you agree to cooperate with, the more likely it’s to become number one. But remember that not all stores agree to cooperate with cashback services.

In addition, your competitors could develop a base for years and gain the trust of both stores and users, so it might take a lot of effort. Another option for displaying uniqueness is to choose a specific niche. If you don’t try to cover everything, but choose one category of goods (for example, animals, children’s sportswear, tourism, etc.) and cover the maximum number of sellers in this store, you can also quickly get to the top. The main thing is that the niche you choose shall be empty, or with a very few competitors. 

3. Tracking cashback status

Usually, stores don’t provide a commission instantly, meaning cashback for your users will only come after a while. The fact is that the transaction must first go through in favor of the store, then you need to wait for confirmation of correctness and legality, and only then the store charges a commission to your company’s account.

Moreover, the transaction itself can also take some time. And only then you can transfer the cashback to your users. It would be a good idea to make it possible to track the status of cashback so that users don’t worry about their money. Thus, they will be aware of the stage at which their cashback is and won’t wonder whether the operation went through your service and whether they are supposed to get cashback. Also, a nice plus is the ability to customize notifications.

4. Affiliate program for clients

One way to attract additional users to your application, as well as increase the loyalty of existing ones, is through an affiliate program. Encourage your users to invite friends, relatives, acquaintances to the application, so that they could receive a financial reward. Moreover, you can also send some money to new users’ accounts immediately after registration, which will interest your audience to join the application and increase their level of loyalty.

This approach has a very positive effect on the statistics of the application, but it also has its drawbacks. Among other things, you will have to provide a strong authorization system to avoid re-registration of the same users just for the sake of rewards. However, examples of affiliate programs already exist, and many of them are quite successful. 

The cost of developing a cashback application

When choosing to create applications, you have two options for how you can come to this: buy a ready-made package solution or order an individual development. Package solutions cost differently, depending on the developer, as well as directly on the selected feature package. In the short term, they are always significantly cheaper than the development of individual solutions, but in the long run, they lose it due to monthly fees or commissions on profits.

The cost of custom development of a cashback application is not constant, as it depends on the features of each individual application, its type, functions, and so on. It’s more expensive and will take longer than buying a ready-made solution, but you will receive an individual tool, with everything you need, but without unnecessary functions, which will additionally demonstrate the uniqueness of your service. 

To find out the cost of developing your specific application, leave a request on the site. Our manager will call you back and give you the price range, depending on your needs.

Technology stack for cashback app development

Technology stack for cashback app development

Creating a cashback service requires certain technologies and implementations so that you can get a fully functional, efficient, and, which is most important, profitable application. Let’s see what technologies are needed and why:

  • Development of the main part of the application will require the use of certain programming languages. They will differ depending on the features of the application (for example, for native applications, you will need to use Objective-C or Swift for iOS and Java or Kotlin for Android);
  • The development environment will also depend on the platform for which the application is being created. You may need to connect cloud platforms (usually solutions from Amazon are used);
  • It’s necessary to connect statistics and analytics tools to the application in order to monitor its effectiveness, profitability and user behavior; 
  • If you plan to work with offline stores, it would be a good idea to also consider working with geolocation services;
  • Connection of payment gateways for transactions. It may depend on the stores with which you cooperate;
  • Databases for storing all the necessary information about both stores and users. Communication systems for mailing lists could be optional. 

As you can see, to create a cashback application, you need a wide range of technologies, and the choice of each directly depends on the features of your application. If you have any questions, please contact us in any way that is convenient for you and our manager will assist you.

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