Mobile devices are no longer seen simply as advances in technology, they are now part of society and everyday life.
Estimates of the current level of smartphone saturation range from 80-90% but whichever research you prefer to look at the conclusion is that we are fast approaching the point of saturation. Tablets are not far behind, with approximately 50% of internet users now owning one.
The impact of this increasingly mobile-orientated lifestyle is that businesses need to ensure they offer their customers and prospective customers the ability to deal with them at any time, in any place, and via any device.
Mobile in crowdfunding
Mobile functionality is important in every industry, none more so than the peer-to-peer/crowdfunding market. Participants in online marketplaces are investing their time and often their money and they want to keep abreast of the latest loan developments and their investments.
As an example, the rebuildingsociety.com mobile website has now been tailored to present the most important functions of the site clearly and in a way that is usable on the go. Using the key functional areas of the marketplace and investment dashboard, let’s look at some examples from rebuildingsociety.com to illustrate what platform operators need to think about:
Some platforms match borrowers and lenders behind the scenes, but the marketplace is at the centre of any platform that uses an open market approach.
It is crucial that the design is clear and informative as well as being mobile compatible. Through mobile or tablet, users need to be able to see lending opportunities and the relevant information presented in a clearly understandable way. Results need to be able to be filtered to account for name, opportunity type, sector, risk, security and status. Key information about each lending opportunity needs to be easy to see and should include information about the % funded, the risk rating, the average rate offered, the loan requirement and the term. Recent improvements to rebuildingsociety.com’s mobile theme have included a countdown to the end of auction.
If we look at the rebuidingsociety.com mobile site, clicking through the ‘VIEW LOAN’ button takes the user to an overview of the business, with options to view their profile, finances and the discussion board. Users are also given the option to observe current loan offers and sort them according to amount, rate and date. The ‘BID NOW’ button brings up a pop-up window that sits above the page (known as a ‘modal’) showing the user’s available funds and the total offered to the business so far. Users can then select the rate, the amount and the number of bids they wish to make from the drop down menus. The selections automatically calculate the repayment amounts and the total interest that will be earned. For complete clarity for the user, the ‘Place Bid’ button is automatically replaced with a ‘Bid £X at Y%’ button.
A site’s Investment Dashboard gives a complete overview of an investors’ activity on the site so needs to offer users full mobile functionality. One of the key things is offering a user the ability to view their available funds. Platform users on rebuildingsociety.com are able to make requests to add and remove funds from their account from their mobile device. The Dashboard also contains clear monetary values for the amount pledged as bids, the amount in investments, the interest earnings, transaction gains/losses, defaults/bad debts, promotional credits and fees. It also shows the average net and average gross return on investments. There is also a breakdown of all loans, all bids and all statements.
Consumer lifestyles now dictate more than just what people do online, it dictates how they do it. Today’s mobile consumer wants to manage their life on the go and this makes it essential for online platforms to ensure mobile functionality that goes far beyond simply being able to view a website. We’ve highlighted some of the key considerations that should be front of mind to everyone who is planning to operate a crowdfunding platform, or indeed who is doing already.