9 November 2021
Crowdfunding is attracting more and more project owners and investors. To make the connection, and for investors to place their money in complete confidence, a certain number of criteria must be respected in the design of a crowdfunding platform. Indeed, from the investor’s arrival on the site, until the payment and even after, the user experience must be optimal. The reputation and therefore the success of the platform depends on it. For this article, we had the pleasure of discussing this topic with Nicolas Dabbaghian, CEO of Capsens, a company that specialises in fintech platform development. Here are the 3 key elements to improve the investor experience on your crowdfunding platform!
Just a few years ago, the idea of saving on the internet seemed completely unthinkable. While buying goods and services online has since become widely popular, managing savings other than through a bank is a relatively new act. Therefore, investors need a lot of reassurance. The main objective of a crowdfunding platform is therefore to avoid any data leakage that could taint its reputation, or even cause the site to be closed down since trust would then be broken with its investors.
Unlike a classic e-commerce site where the services and goods offered are for small amounts, the amounts invested on crowdfunding platforms are often very large. On crowdfunding sites, the average ticket can easily reach €4,000€. Some investors can even make investments of €50,000 in one go, sometimes several times a year. They then need to be reassured about the reliability of the platform.
Since the beginning of online crowdfunding, most countries’governments have created a legal framework to regulate this new activity and prevent any type of abuse. Each investment platform must receive an agreement, which grants it the right to put an investor and a project owner in contact with each other. In turn, it must communicate to investors the risks associated with the proposed projects and transparently conduct its activities. As it collects funds on behalf of third parties and is therefore subject to the PSD2, it must become a payment agent.
Once the platform has received the necessary approvals to be launched, the operator must ensure that the site’s IT security is maintained. To ensure that the platform offers a secure interface to investors, it must be regularly audited by external companies. These intrusions and hacking tests are then the subjects of reports which are delivered to the platform operators with, if necessary, the necessary indications for improving the system and reinforcing security.
Many investors who arrive on a crowdfunding platform have trusted a newspaper article they read or have followed the advice of a friend. The most important thing for crowdfunding sites is therefore to preserve this trust that they generate through their reputation, and which is created over time.
Indeed, in general, the first lenders will be those close to the platform, to gradually give way to fewer close investors, then to unknowns who will become evangelists. It often takes several years for a platform to build a good reputation, thanks to a track record of successful projects, careful communication over the long term, and features designed for investors.
The purpose of a crowdfunding platform is to raise funds, which would be impossible without investors’ trust. It is therefore essential to give users all the information they need to understand, at a glance, the project they wish to invest in and especially the financial risk involved. With this in mind, crowdfunding platforms must be equipped with a very easy-to-use interface including:
This apparent simplicity must still leave the investor the opportunity to dig for all the project details. The information for the investor must be both accessible in a few clicks and as complete as possible about the risk he is taking, with information about:
While investors can view funding opportunities superficially without registering, to access the projects in detail and to be able to invest, users must first register on the platform. They are then invited to take a suitability test to ensure that they are suitable to invest in the financial products offered on the platform. To do this, the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) requires participatory financing sites to collect a lot of data on investors: financial knowledge, experience, assets, personal and professional situation, etc.
The number of questions asked in the suitability test must be sufficient to meet compliance obligations, without becoming indigestible and damaging the investor experience. As several surveys show, each additional question asked reduces the number of investors on the platform. On the contrary, the fewer the questions, the simpler the process, and the easier it is for an investor to complete it without stopping along the way.
Read also KYC has never been so quick & easy!
On crowdfunding sites, having a good repeat rate is crucial. And for good reason, this percentage represents the share of users who will invest again on the platform. Because it is easier to retain an existing customer than to attract new ones, the repeat rate must be given special attention. Indeed, when investors are reimbursed for their savings, they find themselves with an online capital that they can reinvest.
If the investor experience is optimal both in terms of ergonomics and the quality of the projects proposed, the repeat rate will follow. For this, it is essential to offer an investor space that is clear and easily accessible. In his personal space, the investor must have access to the following information:
To attract investors, and simplify their buying experience, a crowdfunding platform must be able to offer different payment methods:
They remain essential for small amounts. Generally registered on web browsers, it allows a simple, fast, and instant payment. It allows for example to trigger the first investment on the platform.
Often necessary for large amounts for which the bank card reaches its limit, it must be automatically recognised by the platform. To simplify the processing of transfers, it is best to use a PSP such as Lemonway, which has developed urbanisation. Thanks to this feature, the PSP can generate unique IBANs that allow the investor to have his transfer immediately recognised and automatically recorded by the platform.
It makes it easier for lenders to get paid back. Investors sign a direct debit mandate online, so they don’t have to transfer money every month to pay off their loan.
This virtual account linked to the platform can be topped up directly via the investor area. It is also replenished by refunds received on the platform. Loading the wallet before investing in a project allows the user to invest more quickly. Today, many projects remain open online for only a few minutes and are so crowded by investors that some may not have time to invest. If the user has previously deposited a thousand euros on his wallet, this allows him to invest directly, without having to enter a bank card or make a transfer, and thus not be disappointed to miss a project.
Improving the investor experience of a crowdfunding platform cannot be improvised and must be thought of from the beginning of the project. To achieve this without any hindrance, it is strongly advised to be accompanied by specialists in this field, such as the fintech platform development agency, CapSens, a partner of Lemonway. And because the management of funding and repayments plays a crucial role in the investor experience, the choice of the payment service provider (PSP) is also essential. As an ACPR-approved payment institution, Lemonway provides its expertise to over 200 crowdfunding platforms in Europe. Would you like to know more and talk to our experts? Contact us today!
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