A trading platform’s “single source of tax truth”

A trading platform’s “single source of tax truth”

In the midst of a coronavirus-related spike in new customer registrations, TAINA’s online tax certification solution transformed the onboarding process.

At the end of March 2020, at the peak of the coronavirus crisis, TAINA’s online FATCA solution went live on a trading platform experiencing surging volumes. As people sitting at home sought to trade volatile markets, the platform was seeing a massive uptick in client registrations. Yet TAINA’s cloud-based solution worked flawlessly, despite the number of forms processed being significantly higher than expected.

Our solution had replaced a previous one that was not as easy for new clients to navigate and complete. As a result, clients trying to register online gave up and called customer services. Tax status forms were completed on paper and sent as pdfs.

“Previously there was a low adoption rate.” explained a representative of the trading platform. “It was difficult to understand, the navigation was poor and there was a high rate of invalid submissions. TAINA is proving to have a much higher adoption rate.

“It is our single source of truth for tax certification.”

A buzz of excitement

At the US based platform there’s a buzz of excitement internally about TAINA’s online FATCA solution. They are quickly attracting new non-US customers, with applications spiking up way above their pre-crisis numbers. Above all, filling in and processing tax compliance forms must be quick so that customers can start trading. But previously those who gave up with the online system were sent a form to fill out manually and return. Realistically, this could delay the process by weeks.

By contrast, the TAINA solution integrates seamlessly into the standard client onboarding process. To simplify filling in the tax form, it’s partly pre-populated with customers’ details (as far as accepted by the IRS). It’s also intuitive and automatically validates the information provided before letting a customer finish onboarding. After validation, our system notifies the trading platform’s customer relationship management system that a customer is ready to trade.

From an operations perspective, the trading platform is robust, flexible and integrated into the trading platform’s workflow. It’s automated, with straight-through processing (STP), reducing the need for manual intervention. With only a small tax operations team, the trading platform wanted to minimise the work in checking new customers’ tax forms.

TAINA’s challenge

For TAINA, developing this online solution represented a new use case. Our standard system is a tax validation FATCA and CRS solution – this was the first time we had integrated our technology into a customer’s onboarding process, effectively embedding it in the workflow. We were able to quickly evolve because of the flexibility of our technology base.

In spite of the challenge, our solution went live on the platform just a few months after we were signed up. The client requested that three FATCA compliance forms be included – W-8, W-8 BEN and W-8 IMY. Additionally, we had to upload a substantial number of tax status forms from existing clients onto the TAINA solution before going live. Typically, TAINA implements standard cloud solutions in just a few weeks – and can even do so in a week – but this was far from a standard solution.

Within the first few days of going live, the benefits for the trading platform were immediately apparent. New customers were filling in their tax status forms relatively easily. And high adoption rates plus STP meant that the small operations staff had greater scale to handle new customers and let them quickly start trading.

What’s more, the solution automates regulatory and operational processes and reduces risk by having a state-of-the-art validation system with fewer manual interventions.

Differentiating customer experience

“What excites me most is that this was not a standard solution,” notes Steve Perkins, TAINA Technology’s Strategic Client Development and Management Lead. “It was using our functionality and technology in a different way. This is very different. This is very powerful. And it shows what you can do with the system.”

This type of implementation compliments seamlessly the on-premise option where customers can also remotely interact with the platform. As both options use the same modern technical stack, moving from on-premise to cloud is an easy migration should this be required.

With new clients signing on in record numbers, the TAINA solution has a fixed a weakness in the trading platform’s key customer onboarding process. The online tax certification system now works smoothly. And it helps to differentiate the platform’s slick technology-based customer experience.