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There are multiple ways to ask a user to agree to the terms of service. Is there any research to which method generates the best conversion, or what the pros and cons of each method is for a mobile app? I'm also curious if there is research to when the best moment is to ask for an agreement; before users start the activation process or at the very end.

What I've seen so far:

1) By clicking a button to continue (like Facebook) or performing an action (like Imgur making a post) you agree to the terms.

2) You manually tick a checkbox saying you agree to the terms of service.

3) You get an overlay prompt asking your permission:

DropBox

I'm wondering what the best solution could be for a credit card app I'm designing the activation process for.

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For anything financial you probably need something that falls under one of the paradigms where the actual terms are easily available, rather than one where you agree by the act of continuing to use it. At the same time, virtually nobody ever reads the terms of service, a problem of its own, but to make conversions more likely and not annoy your prospective users, you want to create something that's easy to sail on through. The Dropbox example you gave is a good example of that. Easy one-tap completion using a common pattern that should be familiar to users.

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From a usability and functionality perspective, you can have a small checkbox and let the user click on it make it inevitable to miss it and having a link close to the checkbox and the statement so if the user wants to open it and read it, they may do so. Most people (99% of the users), I have observed during my user testing that they do not ever read the terms and condition online.

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