1.1. Current status & challenges
The Covid pandemic has changed the current landscape. Before the crisis, processes to improve technology were opened and progressed at some pace but after the Covid-19 outbreak these changes accelerated. Digital transformation evolved from a middle and long-term intention to a real need now. We were asked how to manage with a situation in which personal contact was impossible due to the lockdown. The answer was easy: all online processes have to be evolved to be more direct, easy and useful, multi-device, from onboarding to any kind of report or communication. The terrible situation caused by Covid-19 has pushed technology as the solution to keep business moving.
If we think about what impact the pandemic and the lockdown could have caused if it happened say just 15 years ago, the situation would have been far worse, as no process could have been sustainable then given the limitations of software and technology at that time. However, in the last few years, the financial sector has invested hugely to go online, using modern software and technologies and that has really helped now. Any resistance from the end customer to using technology has disappeared, and companies have also changed their mind in order to make technology more human in this period.
Design also contributed, because platforms and interfaces became easier to browse and understand. That is the way we adopted in the last evolution of our solution Tower, our main platform for the wealth management sector, strong tools, good algorithms, and a friendly user experience. We consider that the changes in behaviour implemented in this period will deepen the digital transformation and end customers will ask for more digital services instead of the old ones in traditional offices.
1.2. Impetus to change & potential benefits
Technology in finance is not a choice, but a requirement. Anyone who intends to survive in this business has to implement technology in the full lifecycle, from the first lead to the regular communication actions with engaged clients. We believe the uncertainty caused by the impact of the pandemic will stay for a long time and the whole customer relationship will be conditioned by what is being developed now. As a result, going forward companies have to balance the use of technology with a human touch. Otherwise, financial companies will be perceived as robots, but real value will be created by the best of algorithms supported by qualified staff. Technology will also play a big role in the accuracy of investment strategies and will help staff enhance their proposals and be more competitive. Also, technology can be defended as a way to keep safe and healthy in the current pandemic and possible future new outbreaks. Finally, the implementation of technology will also help improve productivity, an area of great importance for the industry due to the ongoing margin pressures in the wealth management sector.
1.3. Opportunities & actions
Financial technology has focused its evolution mainly in creating better algorithms to find the best assets in order to design proposals. But we believe the innovation in marketing tools has been lagging and we see a great opportunity in this area. For instance, in TechRules, we are working on a specific marketing module to gather data from in-house databanks so targeted proposals can be sent with a priority follow up. We also have developed a specific algorithm to detect market sentiment working with natural language processing. Moreover artificial intelligence and machine learning will also be integrated to find patterns and obtain a better selection of assets. In our case, a German client obtained positive results with our tools in this Covid crisis compared to the negative results by their competitors.
To sum up, we see enhanced marketing tools, combined with good data management and analysis, as two technological opportunities to satisfy sector demands after the current crisis. Additionally, under this uncertainty, there is a great demand for financial planning. This issue does not only affect investments now, but also looking to the future (i.e. retirement or health). Technology provides wealth managers with productive tools to better organize personal financial plans and rebalance them faster, if circumstances change quickly. In the middle of this situation, end customers need some kind of empathy and certainties. Of course, technology does not read the future, but provides tools to gather large amounts of data, combine them to analyse possibilities, propose the best solutions in a certain situation, and report alerts to react end customers to new uncertainties.
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This article was originally part of The Wealth Mosaic's WealthTech Views Client Engagement Report. You can access and download the full report here:
TechRules is a leading consultancy and wealth management software provider for financial entities, focused on the digital transformation in financial services. For more than 20 years TechRules has developed cutting-edge modular and scalable solutions for the whole financial sector: retail and personal banking, private wealth managers, fund managers, IFAs and family offices. TechRules’s flagship solution is Tower: a global comprehensive platform built up with APIs to respond to any final customer demand and to any management process.
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