I have, since joining FT, sent 5 referral links to friends.
All 5 downloaded the app.
All 5 registered an account.
2x dropped out when the app asked for their NI number [Feedback 1].
2x hesitated (nearly dropped out) when the app presented them with the W-8BEN form [Feeback 2].
1x still to complete W-8BEN but probably will when I reassure them of its purpose.
1x successfully onboarded
Feedback 1 - I suggest you improve the guidance around the requirement for a persons NI number. For me i didnt think twice (how else are my shares going to be attributed to me?), but for those new to investing it seems the wariness of new financial apps, new ‘start-ups’, the constant reminders about about the risks of identity theft and potentially the “a free share, where’s the catch?” mindset, is obviously putting some people off fully signing up.
Feedback 2 - Generally the same as feeback 1 (clearer guidance), but for the W-8BEN form. However, this part of the process is seamlessly integrated with T&Cs on other platforms. If i’m already hesitant to my NI number in, then i don’t want to be hit straight-after with warnings about “US TAX IMPLICATIONS”.
Yes, perhaps integrating W-8BEN with T&C is not be as transparent, but there are still improvements to be made. (I suspect the W-8BEN process is separate for operation reasons?)
Perhaps those in the ‘hesitant’ mindset (hesitant to enter personal info or hesitant when faced with US Tax documentation) are not the target audience and are less likely to invest much in the platform. Fair enough. But, I suspect all new investors face the same hesitations in the beginning - I certainly did.
Perhaps my friends are just worriers that need to “get with the times”…while this is undoubtedly true, I hope the above feedback is taken in good faith and best intentions