How to Create a ‘PayPal-like’ Payment App?



How to Create a 'PayPal-like' Payment App?

Are you looking to create or enhance your payment application? Statistics indicate that the payments market is projected to double in size by 2028, presenting ample opportunities for exploration. Today, we aim to guide you on how to create a payment app similar to PayPal.

Power of PayPal

  • 429 million active accounts (as of 2022)
  • 29 million active merchant accounts (as of the end of 2020)
  • $27.05 billion in total revenue in 2022 
  • $4.1 billion net profit in 2021 
  • $1.25 trillion transaction volume in 2021
  • 41 million transactions are done via PayPal every day
  • Supports 100+ currencies

Today, PayPal stands out as a leading payment processor, catering to more than 200 markets globally. With over 300 million users engaging in transactions across 100 currencies, PayPal has firmly established itself as a frontrunner in the industry, attributed to a range of distinctive features:

Feature PayPal digital payment platform
Payment options Instant payment, split payments, accepted credit cards and debit cards, ACH payments and eCheck processing, multi-currency, online payment portal
Security Data tokenization, two-factor authentication, PCI compliance, POS verification
Development Customization, accounting software integration, e-commerce software integration
Invoicing Provide
Platform Internationalization, PCI regulation compliance, e-commerce, and accounting integration
Payment tools Payment gateway, expense tracking, payment schedule
Customer service Live chat, phone support, knowledge base
Additional services Seller’s Protection Program
Source: How to Create a Payment App like PayPal: an Action Guide for Building a Payment Platform

How to Create a Payment App Like PayPal?

How to Create a Payment App Like PayPal

1. Defining Your App’s Foundation

Begin by mapping out your app’s core elements, including the operating system (OS) it will operate on. While iOS and Android are common choices, consider supporting both to reach a wider audience.

Ensure your app encompasses key features such as merchant and user account creation, transaction tracking, ID validation, CRM, and push notifications.

Start by planning a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to test your concept in a specific market, using an iterative development model.

2. Crafting Your Development Strategy

Select a development approach, either Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Mobile Backend as a Service, based on your project’s needs.

Equip your team with the necessary tools like SDKs and APIs, along with skilled professionals including business analysts, UI/UX designers, developers proficient in Node.js, Kotlin/Swift, QA engineers, and project managers.

3. Leveraging Cloud Services

Utilize managed cloud services like AWS to kickstart your development process without investing heavily in infrastructure. PaaS providers handle infrastructure management, allowing you to focus on coding.

These platforms offer seamless integration with external APIs and databases, along with DevOps tools and auto-scaling solutions.

4. Integrating Payment Functionality

Implement online payment features using reliable APIs/SDKs like Braintree Direct, ensuring compatibility across web, iOS, and Android platforms.

Prioritize security with features like fraud prevention, encryption, and PCI-DSS compliance to instill trust and protect sensitive financial data, fostering a secure payment environment for users and merchants alike.

Additionally, streamline the checkout process to enhance user experience and increase conversion rates, optimizing the overall efficiency of your payment system.

5. Design and develop your payment platform

To develop a payment gateway like PayPal, you should first consider what features it will have, these can be:

  • Unique ID verification
  • Digital wallet
  • Sending bills and invoices
  • Sending and receiving money
  • Transaction history
  • Messaging

Verify various forms of identification in real-time to streamline account opening processes.

6. Streamlining Merchant Operations

Empower merchants with CRM tools like Zoho to manage customer relationships and automate key processes.

Enable push alerts through platforms like Twilio to boost engagement and drive sales, providing merchants with effective tools to reach their audience and capitalize on business opportunities in real-time.

Integrate analytics capabilities to provide merchants with valuable insights into customer behavior and transaction trends, enabling informed decision-making and strategic business growth.

7. Selecting Development Tools

Choose appropriate development tools such as IntelliJ IDEA for web development, Android Studio for Android apps, and Xcode for iOS apps.

Tailor your toolset to the needs of your project, considering the development of hybrid apps for multi-platform support.

8. Creating Testing Environment

Establish a testing environment encompassing a diverse range of devices to ensure thorough testing across web and mobile platforms.

Opt for solutions offering access to multiple test environments to streamline the testing process.

9. Developing Your Web Application

Utilize Node.js for efficient web application development, integrating with chosen databases and ensuring compatibility with previously implemented features.

Conduct comprehensive QA testing to identify and rectify any issues, ensuring a seamless user experience and optimal performance across various browsers and devices.

Prioritize accessibility and responsiveness to cater to diverse user needs and enhance the overall usability of your web application.

10. Building Your Mobile Application

Begin by designing a user-friendly interface following platform-specific guidelines like Material Design for Android and Human Interface Guidelines for iOS. Develop your app using Kotlin for Android and Swift for iOS, integrating with APIs/SDKs and leveraging testing frameworks like Espresso and XCTest.

Prepare for submission to app marketplaces like the App Store, ensuring compliance with their stringent requirements.

You might find this article also interesting: 10 best fintech marketing strategies for your app’s success

Building Your Payment App

Building or refreshing your payment app may appear to be a daunting challenge. However, with the right software development team, no task is insurmountable. Reach out to us today, and let us assist you in creating a PayPal-like app, while also managing the entire marketing process.


  • Zuzanna Macieszko

    Content Creator with a deep passion for Public Relations, new technologies, and traveling. I find joy in bringing creative ideas to life and have been actively involved in various projects to date.

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