Tessa Lee at moneyinfo says the wealth management sector is worryingly behind its clients when it comes to digital communications and, to stay relevant, firms need to adopt digital services now.
In recent decades there’s been a seismic shift in how we communicate. We use calendars on our phone, to organise our social lives, store our photos and memories, make lists, book trains, get instant access to what’s going on in the world, track our health and fitness, listen to music, check the weather, buy stuff all with a single click…
Yet according to research by PwC Strategy &1, only a quarter of UK wealth managers make use of digital channels beyond phone and email. The industry is lagging far behind its clients and still producing vast amounts of paperwork and printed reports for clients.
It’s time-consuming and it’s costly
Picture this… it’s the end of another quarter and time for another bulk reporting run for your clients. You need to send out hundreds of personalised quarterly portfolio reports and you have deadlines to meet. The reports can be generated from your investment system but then need to be printed, sorted, put into envelopes and posted. It’s time-consuming and it’s costly, even if you’ve gained some efficiency by sending the report files to an outsourced print shop.
Perhaps worse, you are sending reports via email, delivering detailed information on your clients’ investment portfolios by a method that was never designed with data security in mind and according to the latest Government Cyber Security Breaches Survey2 remains the most likely way your business could be compromised.
Regulation makes matters worse. MiFID II means you have to provide even more information to your clients and GDPR reinforces the need to communicate this information securely. You need a better way to deliver information to your clients whilst continuing to provide the personalised, tailored and high-quality service clients expect.
How does this experience feel for your client?
Clients receive your report and have to store it somewhere - stacked up on the sideboard under a mounting pile of post; in their desk drawer; filing cabinet or even that bag for life under the stairs.
Think about the many different types of paperwork you send to your clients today - portfolio reports; depreciation reports; costs and charges information; tax reports; market commentary and many other ad hoc communications.
Add to that the information clients receive via email. It’s insecure and they still have to file it. Do they print it and put it in that bag for life or do they save it somewhere on their computer? All this means that your client can’t find it easily when they need it.
So what do your clients want?
Research conducted by Factset & Scorpio Partnership3 showed that HNW individuals are looking for more digital interaction from their wealth managers.
Interactive two-way communication is important and it’s not just the younger generations who are looking for the control and peace of mind that digital services give them. To stay relevant, firms need to bring digital services into the heart of their propositions now.
A better way
Your reports are already being produced by your Investment System, generating hundreds of personalised pdf reports ready for printing but instead of printing they’re delivered to a secure online location.
- A scheduled overnight service collects the reports, extracts and processes the client identifier and delivers the reports to your client portal, filed in the relevant folders so that your client knows exactly where to find them.
- Your clients receive a push notification via your branded app and can log in to securely view the report at their convenience.
- You have an audit trail of all documents and can see when your clients received and opened them.
You are not only taking away a big problem from your clients; you’re creating a more efficient way of doing business. Most importantly it’s a better experience for your client.
Your App. Your brand.
It’s not enough just to automate the delivery of your client information and communications through the desktop. PwC research4 shows that 85% of HNW Individuals use more than three devices and 98% access the internet and apps daily. Your clients are using smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops and expect you to deliver information on all the devices they are using.
The research states “smartphone access to aggregated daily portfolio valuations are non-negotiable with wealth-management clients” and clients want other services delivered digitally, notably a 360-degree view of their wealth, including property as well as art and other tangible assets.
moneyinfo brings together all of their finances, across the entire family including trusts and business accounts, a balance sheet accessible 24/7. Investments, savings and pensions together with their banking, insurances, properties (tracked and valued with land registry data) and even investment accounts managed by other wealth managers.
All of their financial life in one place together with all the associated paperwork organised and securely stored in one place and accessible on whichever device they are using. All under your brand.
Your clients want one app to manage their finances. Make sure it’s yours.
This article features in the UK Wealth Technology Landscape Report. See that here.