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July 20, 2023

4 ways to reduce user drop-off and improve Link conversion

Jimmy Hang

Jimmy Hang
Product Marketing, Plaid

With roughly 500,000 financial accounts linked each day to thousands of apps and services on the Plaid network, Link has become the most recognized way for consumers to securely access and share their financial data. Plaid continues to optimize the Link experience to improve conversion for your business, but we know that some users will drop off in your app (or web) experience even before they see Link. The good news is there are simple ways to reduce user drop-off so you aren’t losing out on acquisition costs.

Today, we’re sharing 4 ways to create a seamless user transition from your app experience to Link, which can improve conversion and help you activate more users. The best practices are based on insights we’ve collected from working with leading fintech businesses to improve the pre-Link experience, which is a key driver of conversion within your control.

1. Lead with the benefits

Link should be a natural extension of your app experience for users who link their financial accounts. You want to avoid confusing users by redirecting to Link without any context. Instead, make a clear introduction to Plaid and then emphasize the benefits of instant account connectivity.

Depending on your use case, some of the benefits of using Link that you can highlight, include:

  • Speed: Instant account funding, access to funds, faster loan decisioning, and no manual entry.

  • Cost savings: No fees for bank to bank transfers.

  • More value and protection: Higher transaction limits and overdraft protection.

Additionally, users don’t always want to be the first to try something new. Use social proof as a way to reassure users that countless others have connected their accounts before with Plaid Link (e.g. 100,000 WonderWallet users have connected an account using Plaid).

2. Skip the surprises and set the right expectations

Birthday surprises can be great, but users don’t want surprises when it comes to sharing their financial data. Avoid surprises by providing context and outlining the steps that users will need to take in order to link their account. Here are a few best practices to help prepare users for the Link experience:

  • Present the account linking option (powered by Plaid) as the recommended path for users and position it first in the list of options. Use labels such as "Recommended" or "Preferred", and share the benefits of this connection method.

  • Before launching the Link experience, tell the user that they'll be prompted to link a financial account. Also, explain what data your app will be collecting from their account, and why it's needed.

  • Let the user know what type of account (e.g. checking or savings) you want them to connect. This will help avoid back-end errors later on when you try to retrieve the user’s permissioned data.

3. Bring transparency and security to the forefront

Consumers value transparency and control especially when it comes to their financial data. In a consumer survey from 2022, 76% of Americans say they have more trust in financial companies when they convey their privacy practices. Use these best practices to make it easy for users to find information about Plaid and your privacy practices, which can build more trust in the experience of linking a financial account.

  • Explain that your app does not have access to the user’s credentials.

  • Highlight that the user has control over their data and can unlink their account later on.

  • Share what financial data you’ll be using and why it’s needed.

  • Use a lock icon to help convey that Link uses 256-bit encryption or language like ‘bank-level security’.

4. Use Link customizations and SDKs

When it comes to the Link experience, there are a number of customizations that you can easily turn on now to help guide users to successfully link their accounts. All of these customizations can help improve conversion by leveraging your brand recognition, personalizing the institution list, and more.

  • Add your branding to the consent pane.
    The consent pane is the first thing that your users see when they begin linking their financial accounts. Make it a smooth transition from your app to Link by adding your logo to the consent pane. Select the ‘co-branded’ option as a Link customization in the dashboard. We’re also testing a new consent pane with a reduced screen fill and more configurability so it appears embedded within your app. If you’re interested in testing this new consent pane, please reach out to your Plaid Account Manager.

  • Personalize the institution list, automatically.
    To make it even easier for users to find their institution in Link, use Plaid’s default list of institutions which is personalized to each user based on a number of signals, including location and device. Customers using Plaid’s personalized institution list have seen a relative conversion lift of ~1-2%. To get started, select the ‘Automatic’ option in the dashboard’s Institution Select setting.

  • Upgrade to the Link SDKs.
    When you use a Plaid SDK, you get exclusive access to the latest Link features, optimizations, and bug fixes that enhance the user experience to drive more conversion. If you’re already using a Plaid SDK, upgrade regularly to the latest version to test beta features like embedding institution search into your app.

Even more ways to improve conversion

Check out our API docs for more tips and best practices to supercharge your Plaid integration and drive more conversion. When you’re ready to enable the Link customizations, head over to the dashboard and flip on the switch—we’ll take it from there. Finally, stay tuned for more Link improvements and optimizations that we’re making throughout the year to help you activate more users