How to Build a Cash Advance App like Dave

How to Build a Cash Advance App like Dave

23 December 2022 • 17 min read

Many finance establishments open their doors as digital banks, making financial services easily accessible on the go. With so many contactless payments, businesses opt for applications with eKYC integration and fraud detection to ensure bank-level security.

Modern mobile solutions promise fast cash loan approvals, disbursements, and immediate P2P money transfers. And all these you can get in several clicks. Up to a point, as DebtHammer’s latest survey showed, 33% of Americans now use cash advance apps. Therefore, developing cash advance app solutions might seem like a good idea.

In this post, we will examine whether cash advance app development could be profitable. Plus, we will check the difference between creating a cash advance app and a money lending app. Softermii will reveal the top key cash advance app features, the required technology stack, and the price tag. And much more. So, let’s dive in.

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Is Creating a Cash Advance App a Profitable Idea?

When it comes to money lending app development, options to borrow money via cash advances are fast becoming the norm rather than the exception. Designed to improve financial outlook, no-interest cash advance apps have become popular for ordinary users and small businesses. Indeed, enterprises can now lend money to small firms or startups.

If we look at the global mobile banking market, we will see that it will reach $1.8 billion in 2026. That means the potential for mobile banking is expanding. Since borrowing money in the form of cash advances capabilities is booming, catching this wave seems like a wise option.

Meanwhile, what is happening now? Let’s check out the current big names on the market. Dave is king in advance cash apps. It’s been valued at $4 billion. But there are some successful alternatives as well.

For instance, Earnin (originally known as ActiveHours), which is valued at $800 million with an estimated annual revenue of $33.3M. Up to a point, as Crunchbase assets, Chime raised $2.3 billion in funding.

Therefore, building cash advance apps like Dave makes sense. Let’s look at ways to create such an in-demand app.

The Difference Between Creating a Cash Advance App and a Money Lending App

People might confuse cash advance apps and money lending ones. You need to clearly understand this difference to create a money lending app. Indeed, these mobile banking solutions are similar. Yet, pay attention to the following differences.

  1. In a cash advance app, you can access your hard-earned money. There’s no third party involved, just you and the app. It lets you take the money before you actually have it and then return it automatically once you get paid.
    In a money lending app, you borrow someone else’s money. Typically, you don’t pay any interest, but you must pay for a membership.
  2. Cash advance apps are not payday lenders. Put differently, payday lending regulations don’t apply to them, so they have unique features.
  3. Apps offering advances don’t report payments to the major credit bureaus, so they do not affect your credit score.

Cash advance app

Money lending app

Who owns the money

The user

3rd party

Payday lending regulations

Don’t apply


Affect the credit score



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Key Cash Advance App Features

The core functionality of a cash advance app may vary from country to country because of different regulations. But still, there’s always a typical scope. Below, we’ve gathered a list of the most common features.

Hassle-free Sign-Up & Profile Verification

Customers want to get finances fast. So, this process should be straightforward and easy, but secure. From a technical point of view, hassle-free sign up always requires such identification data as name, SSN, date of birth, contact data, employment data, and so on.

Plus, we have to mind the security, for instance, KYC verification, two-factor authentication, and data encryption. Note it is important to link the user’s account with the app practically in no time and make this connection secure and encrypted.

Money On Demand

Developing cash advance app

Apps offering advances are best reserved for one-time emergencies. So it is essential to let users get the money instantly. They choose not to go to their bank; they apply online and get money within minutes.

Repayment Options

If you’ve decided to create a cash advance app, mind the repayment options. By default, users can choose their repayment plan and the methods to do it, either automatically or manually. It is also critical to provide a flexible repayment schedule.

Quick Alerts

Cash advance app development

Quick alerts are crucial in most cases for security reasons. Picture this: customers always want to get alerts whenever there’s a transaction on their card to prevent unintentional or unauthorized purchases.

Freeze/Unfreeze Cards

How to create a cash advance app

To build a cash advance app like Dave, you need to think about the option to freeze/unfreeze cards. People often use it once they lose their devices or credit cards. Such functionality shows your customers that you care about their well-being, including financial.

Loan Calculator

Cash advance app features

Basically, a loan calculator helps customers find out how much they can get and what their repayment terms would be. This feature helps people make informed decisions and plan ahead.

Transaction History, Analytics, and Reports

Make an app like Dave

Customers will want to regularly check the details of their past loans and generate reports to analyze their past transactions. That way, users may want to look through their spending patterns and determine the areas they need to address more carefully.

Voluntary Tipping

The apps let the users tip rather than charge interest. Here’s how it works: once you use a cash advance, the app encourages you to leave a tip, saying it will donate tip money to families in need. Generally, the tipping amount is as follows: 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, and 25%. That way, the users don’t overpay to borrow.

Credit Score Building

Building cash advance apps like Dave

By offering your customers a spending boost when their funds are low, it is essential to help them avoid spending more than they can pay back.

Robust Security

We know about HTTPS/SSL encryption. But you will need more than that. Any interest-free cash advance application should come with bank-level security, including fingerprint scanning or facial recognition, two-factor authentication and keys, data and cryptographic algorithms data protection. Typically, users are also required to set up a required password to prevent unauthorized spending.

Social Media Integration

Create a money lending app

Social media integration lets users easily sign up/sign in to their accounts hassle-free. Plus, you will be able to gather valuable insights about the requirements of your target audience.

What Else to Consider when Developing a Cash Advance App

There are other essential issues you need to consider when developing such an application. We will list some of the major ones below.

  • Avoid hidden payments. People don’t like it when they are getting fooled. Ensure you do not add any hidden payments your users don’t know about.
  • Recognize and diminish legal risks. Gain a more in-depth view of the legal requirements and risks associated. Ensure to comply with GDPR and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) requirements and other legal standards.
  • Establish cooperation with banks. To enable easy, secure, and fast loans, you have to link your application with banks. Start with the local banks. The more banks you work with, the better it is. Consumers love when they have a choice, especially when it comes to their payment options.

Meanwhile, next to consider is the technology stack your particular application would require.

Tech Stack for Cash Advance App

Typically, when building cash advance apps like Dave, by default, such apps are available on iOS App Store or Google Play Store. That means that your app is both Android- and iOS- compatible. The required tech stack for mobile development is Swift for iOS and Kotlin for Android.

But the tech requirements do not end here. Then, you need to choose the right tech stack for your particular application. By the way, below you can take a quick look at the most commonly used FinTech technologies.

  • Back-End: Python, Java, C++, PHP, and Laravel
  • Front-End: JavaScript, Laravel Nova, Angular, React, TypeScript
  • Databases: Oracle and DB2, AWS, MongoDB, Oracle
  • Others: RESTFUL API, Google SDK, Firebase, Twilio, and Facebook SDK.
  • Mobile payment apps integration: Apple pay, Google pay, Samsung pay, Garmin pay, Paypal, and Venmo
  • Real-time analytics: IBM, BigData, Cisco.

These are some basic technologies for app development, and the list can easily go on. But you will also need several design and testing tools. Generally, to build a money loan app, you need a skilled and experienced team.

Setting the Time of Issuing Money in the Cash Advance App

You will need around ten months to set the time for issuing money. This process is rather resource- and time-consuming because it requires a lot of things.

  • First, you need to determine all the bank vendors you would like to cooperate with.
  • Then, you will need to establish connections with the banks.
  • Moreover, you will need to know what rules apply to your business and how they affect you and your target audience.
  • Once you know that, register your business, ensuring that you comply with all governmental guidelines. Hire a good lawyer to guide you through this process.

To create a money lending app like Dave, your payment options should be diverse. Just for the record, Dave cooperates with 18000+ big and small payment vendors. That does not mean your product has to offer such a variety. But the limited number of banks to choose from would significantly decrease your future customer loyalty.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Cash Advance App

Now that you see the scale of such a project, let’s talk about how much it can cost to build a money loan app. Of course, the price may greatly vary depending on the scope of required features, but generally, it ranges from $35,000 to $500,000. Let’s make a small overview and consider the costs involved.

To better understand the full scope of the money loan app development process, let’s start with its workflow. When we know how to create a cash advance app, we can say what we will need in budget.

Discovery Phase

Time: 280 hours

Cost: $11 200

During this stage, a Product Owner, Business Analytics and System Architects, along with the customer’s team, gather the requirements, analyze competitors, identify users’ pains, and come up with the required tech stack. Also, the designers work on the product. Typically, it goes from low fidelity to high-fidelity: they start with sketches and wireframes and deliver a prototype with a completed interface.


Time: 640 hours

Cost: $25 600

A Minimum Viable Product is the first basic version of your product with the required features. You must be strategic in determining which limited functionality to include in your MVP. Ensure it comes with the MVP’s primary goal, which is to gather user feedback.

That’s where coding happens. Said differently, the design turns into a working app. This stage involves engineering, technology integrations, and testing. So, developers, analytics, testers, and designers will work at this stage.


Time: 240 hours

Cost: $9 600

This stage requires a group of testing specialists. A quality assurance team usually consists of a QA Lead and several specialists. They ensure that the product corresponds to all the requirements the customer has previously specified. They check how the program performs, detect bugs and ensure that every aspect of the program runs as it should.

Also this is a stage when you launch your product. However, even if your app is bug-free, it's vital to keep improving your product based on the fast-evolving market demands. Your users will want it to remain modern and updated. Your business marketing team and developers will still need to work on your product. So, consider the need of a support team.

Technical Documentation

Time: 40 hours

Cost: $1 600

It is the last step of developing a cash advance app. It includes creating all the documentation for the application, particularly the product manual.

Thus, the entire money lending app development process evolves requirements gathering and analyzing, brainstorming, validation, coding, testing, and after-launch support sessions. You will need a Product Owner, BAs, a System Architect, developers, designers and project managers, and testers. Generally, any Senior-level expert, be it a developer or a tester, charges around $50-75 per hour, even more in some countries.

Let's summarize all of these in the table below:

Development Stages




Discovery & Research

280 hours

$11 200



640 hours

$25 600



240 hours

$9 600


Creating technical documentation

40 hours

$1 600


1 200 hours (5 month)

$48 800

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These are rough costs if you want to make your own money lending app. Do you require more precise estimations? Contact the Softermii team.

How Softermii Can Help

A great business strategy combined with the newest technologies stands behind any company’s success. And Dave is not an exception: they serve the customers and make them feel like they’re getting value for their money. We at Softermii can help you develop the right business idea and turn it into reality.

We are thinking out of the box and moving gears from the first meeting. Our team has expertise in different software disciplines and experience in fintech mobile and web applications development services.

Just to name a few:


Create a cash advance app

Expedipay is a significant fintech project delivered by our team. It’s a P2P wallet with advanced security owing to fraud detection features and increased convenience thanks to a user-friendly interface.

We created an opportunity to add cards lists to the mobile Wallet. This allowed users to provide their payments quickly and easily. Suggested features: eKYC integration, accessible and intuitive interface, live chat box feature, immediate P2P money transfer.

The result: a robust mobile banking application with secure P2P money transfers, a wallet card list, a live chat, and fraud detection.


Create a money lending app like Dave

Our client wanted to build a compelling app for users who lack knowledge in wealth management. This all-in-one solution should track all the spending, loans, analyze expenses, and set up financial goals.

We developed an app that looks accessible for any type of audience, has multiple integrations with American banking systems, asset, and property management platforms, and contains forecasting algorithms.

The result: A mobile and web solution that helps you improve your financial outlook. It tells you real-time information about your current spending habits and loan information.

So, if you want to make an app like Dave, our team knows how to help you.

Final Thoughts

As cash advance apps have become our routine, you might want to create a robust solution for cash advances. The process is complex and has many pitfalls, so you will require an expert team to be on your side. Think of Softermii, a full-cycle development company. We can help you come up with the right business idea for your fintech app and implement it successfully.

Softermii has the expertise and specific cash advance app domain experience. We’ve created several custom solutions that generate income for our customers. So, contact us today and get a free quote!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to add a cash advance feature to an existing banking application?

In most cases, it is possible to add such a feature. But you need to rely on an expert software development team.

How does a cash advance app like Dave app work?

Apps like Dave offer a spending account with a Debit Card. The spending account is designed to receive direct deposit paychecks. There’s also a savings account and a secured credit card designed for building credit. You need to have a spending account to use these products.

What are the steps to create a cash advance app?

Step 1: Come up with the requirements

Step 2: Find a reliable technology partner such as Softermii

Step 3: Sign the contract and get started with the development

Step 4: Get your product done.

How long does it take to create a cash advance app like Dave?

It generally takes four to ten months to create a cash advance app. The time scope significantly depends on the technology suite, functionality, and budget.

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