How We Test
As part of our company values, we only suggest products or services we have used ourselves. Additionally, we have set certain parameters on which the offerings are tested before posting content about them on our website. All of these are tested by the editor writing the review on the service.
Vital Testing Parameters
To start taking benefits of any product or service, the first step is always registering. This step can involve many pain points in the form of document submissions, KYC, verification, etc.
To start trading and initiate transactions you will need to add funds from your bank account to the new account you have created on a particular trading platform. We will particularly try to figure out all the available options to add funds and the fund management features available in the application, along with the currencies it accepts.
There are various ways to invest and trade in a stock market. Our goal is to know all trading options the platform has to offer. We also aim to clear any confusion regarding these options. Here are some popular trading options we check for:
- Spot trading
- Margin trading
- Leveraged trading
- Spread betting
The fees are the primary differentiating factor among the platforms, so our aim here is to understand in detail their fee structure, deductions, fines, and any other hidden charges that can unexpectedly impact a user’s pocket.
Usually, all platforms or providers have the following type of fees in one form or the another:
- Funds Deposit Fees: Though very few providers deduct fees on funds deposit, based on the mode of transaction, a certain percentage of the amount can be charged on your card. During the testing, we try to gather as much information about deposits on various payment modes.
- Trading Fees: This is the inevitable fee that almost every platform or provider charges you, it could be a flat rate on every transaction, or a percentage of the transaction value, plus taxes. Our objective is to inform our readers and give them a fair amount of idea of how much they are going to be charged on the trading transactions. Some providers don’t charge a fee on purchases, while others charge on sales as well as purchases.
- Withdrawal Fees: The withdrawal fee is charged by every service provider or trading platform. The exact charge depends on the mode of withdrawal. While testing we also try to find out the best withdrawal mode, not only in terms of fees to be charged but also how fast you will be able to receive the money in your bank account.
Overall user experience is a combination of various factors like speed of the application, ease of use and navigation through various options, and accessibility to features.
Users should be easily and conveniently able to browse through stocks and place orders, and able to use various other features within the application. We particularly look at any application from a beginners point of view.
There can be various versions of the application like mobile versions, web-based applications, and desktop downloadable software. Based on individual preferences users can choose to use one, but our concern while testing is that all of them provide a similar environment, and are highly responsive, fast as well as secure. We also suggest to our readers which version is best for the purpose of trading.
This is a major concern for everyone especially when money and financial transactions are involved. We read through all the security, safety, and privacy-related information provided by the service provider and try to confirm and cross-check as much as possible.
We also look for basic security checks like the use of weak passwords, presence of 2-Factor Authentication (in form of OTP or other), anti-phishing checkpoints, use of biometric passwords, etc. We thoroughly go through the data protection measures taken by the service provider, and how the user data is being used.
We take extra effort to read through the reviews and user experiences with regard to the security of a particular platform.
One of the ways to find out the reliability of a service provider is based on the regulatory compliances to which it adheres. In some countries, regulatory policies are very strict for the protection of the users, while in some countries they are lenient, which allows companies to sometimes take advantage of these in their own favour.
We provide a clearer picture of regulatory guidelines that the service provider follows so that before investing user knows the company and its policies really well.
For the convenience of users, the applications are loaded with a lot of features, some of them are highly useful, while others might not be that important. Our contributors spend a good amount of time using these applications to identify these features and present to our readers how good and useful each one of them is.
Tutorials and Guides
Every application comes with a self-help guide or tutorial that helps users navigate through the application easily. Besides these tutorials, there could be a lot of content to learn about investing and other related information for the users, in form of blogs and articles.
Some of the providers also feature discussions with industry stalwarts and various market analysis reports for their registered users. We identify how useful and easy to understand these tutorials, guides, and articles are.
This is a vital element of any service provider, and one of the deal-breakers. Every user needs after-sales support at some point, especially beginner-level investors. We identify the modes of communication for customer support and understand which one works better than the others.