Essential Integrations for a Crowdfunding Platform
A crowdfunding platform is rarely a lonely ship. Oftentimes, crowdfunding platforms utilize multiple integrations and alliances to run an alternative finance business successfully.
Precisely speaking, there are different types of essential integrations on a crowdfunding platform:
- KYC/AML provider for safe user onboarding
- Payment gateway (usually comes with KYC/AML) to enable the platform to hold and process clients’ money
- Digital signature provider to automate document management and sign documents quickly
Apart from these, there are also additional integrations to make your platform even more customer-oriented:
- SMS notifications to communicate with investors and fundraisers
- Asset tokenization to make your platform innovative and secure
- Currency exchange if you’re working with different currencies
Let’s take a closer look and compare the essential vs additional integrations on a crowdfunding platform to find out their purpose, explore examples and decide whether it’s something you need or can live without.
What you will learn in this post:
Essential crowdfunding integrations
First things first, let’s start with the essentials. Without these basic integrations, running a crowdfunding platform will require a lot of manual work that can be tolerated when you’re starting out, but if you decide to scale, these integrations will make your life easier.
Crowdfunding platforms are required to verify both investors and fundraisers including their identity, registration, source of funds, etc. On one hand, platforms need to verify customers as a part of their due diligence process, on the other hand, there are strict requirements from regulators, banks and payment gateways.
Some platforms may want to skip some parts of the tedious registration process and streamline user onboarding, but with no luck.
There are various standalone identity verification providers that you can integrate such as:
- Shufti Pro
- Yakeen by ELM
Oftentimes however you may want to integrate with a provider that has a combined offer both payments and KYC. Such KYC/AML providers include:
Payment gateway providers
Payment gateways allow crowdfunding platforms to process investors’ and fundraisers’ money, hold them in escrow before the funding round is complete and make automated payouts.
A crowdfunding platform may work directly with a bank or use a payment gateway depending on the needs, fees, processing speed and services provided.
As mentioned above, most of the payment gateways that work with crowdfunding also provide KYC/AML services in combination with money processing which makes them a decent all-in-one solution. There are plenty of payment gateways you can integrate with such as:
- Assembly Payments
Depending on where your crowdfunding platform is located, these payment gateways will cover your needs.
It’s also worth noting that you can look for ISA (individual savings account) or IRA (individual retirement account) integration. Some payment gateways enable ISA or IRA investing which can allow you to provide a wider range of services to your investors. Alternatively, you can integrate with different custodians.
Digital signature providers
E-sign providers enable automated document signing on your crowdfunding platform. Integrations with industry-standard solutions like HelloSign or DocuSign allow you to manage documents faster and more efficiently.
You can easily sign investment certificates, contracts and other documents within your platform or in the account of the provider which can potentially be white-labelled.
Additional crowdfunding integrations
The non-essential integrations are the ones your platform can live without and still do a good job, but if you want to spice up your services and differentiate on the market, these are the go-to solutions.
Whether you want to add an extra security layer on top of something like Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication or simply build an additional one-way communication channel, integrating with Twilio SMS software, for example, can help you do that.
Crowdfunding asset tokenization
To make your crowdfunding platform innovative and more scalable, you may enable asset tokenization on your crowdfunding platform, that is to issue blockchain tokens (security tokens) that digitally represent a real tradable asset.
The benefits of using asset tokenization may include:
- More liquidity (for example, for enabling real estate asset trading on a secondary market or an alternative asset trading system)
- Faster and cheaper transactions
- More transparency, etc.
Currency exchange provider
If you’re working with several markets and you have investors or fundraisers in different countries and you need to exchange currency, for example having USD and EUR on the platform, you’ll need to integrate with a currency exchange provider to support different wallets and currencies.
For example, Seedrs, an equity crowdfunding platform, is using CurrencyCloud to provide USD and EUR currency exchange to its customers.
One thing to keep in mind with the currency exchange providers is volumes and fees. The higher your platform transaction volumes, the “cheaper” it’s going to be to use a currency exchange. For example, the real value at CurrencyCloud can be found when you process £500,000 per month or higher.
Integrations for crowdfunding platforms allows them to be competitive market players, comply with the regulatory requirements and provide outstanding services to investors and fundraisers.
If you’re looking for white-label crowdfunding software or custom crowdfunding platform and need a skilled team to connect the required integrations and customize them to your needs, feel free to reach out to LenderKit.
LenderKit is white-label crowdfunding software for regulated investments businesses worldwide. We have strong expertise in these core markets: MENA, USA, Europe and the UK.
If you’d like to learn more about our crowdfunding software and services, drop up as line.