How a New Wave of “Fin-Tech” Is Changing Financial Services
Yes, today’s financial advisers have up-to-the-minute data at their fingertips. And investment managers now use sophisticated data analytics and software programs that enable them to assist clients to better achieve their financial goals, including everything from superior portfolio management to effective retirement planning.
But technology doesn’t stand still. What’s here today will be better tomorrow. World events, such as Brexit and its fallout, can’t help but have an impact on the industry and its technology.
It’s imperative that investment managers stay on top of the fascinating world of finance tech to effectively serve clients.
The Tech-Savvy Client
Financial managers may have cutting-edge advancements to more efficiently analyze data and financial trends, but so do their clients.
Online banking, bill paying and payment services, such as PayPal, have made consumers comfortable with the online financial process. Emerging consumer financial software programs are far more intuitive and better integrated than programs in the past.
The latest online-based platforms do much more than keeping the books. Select programs assist users in planning for large-scale purchases or save for retirement as well as develop financial forecasts that give users a map to save and plan to get out of debt.
The knowledgeable consumer doesn’t stop there. Low-cost investment companies are beginning to pop up. Users monitor investments and finances in a single online portal. Many companies include personalized investment advice along with complete financial management integration.
Clearly, financial managers must realize their tech-savvy customers are likely to have conducted financial strategy research themselves. They’ll come to the table asking intelligent, detailed questions and may have formed their own opinions on how to proceed. Advisers must not only be ready to educate increasingly informed clients, they must commit themselves to ongoing education and become active participants in industry trends.
Offline and Online – Together at Last
One of the most exciting trends for consumers is the final merging of offline and online transactions. Advisors will be expected to provide clients with online administration and communication tools. Adviser service models will include video teleconferencing and proprietary mobile apps.
Smarter Applications, More Developers
As applications get smarter, the number of accounting and money management developers will increase exponentially. Home-grown and proprietary systems will provide higher consistency and a more narrow focus, built to meet the requirements of the end user. Developed applications are becoming increasingly proficient at utilizing artificial intelligence to learn, forecast and recommend based on individual client needs and goals.
Technology and the Human Factor
The wealth management and technology march are on. What does that mean for investment firms? Will online platforms and sophisticated applications completely remove the human element in financial planning? Hardly.
What it does mean, however, is that advisers need to use different strategies. For example, blogging and digital marketing are outlets that reach large numbers of potential new clients. Online interaction with current clients, through the use of social media and email, ensures that the human element is alive and well. In short, as technology and the financial service professional work together, everybody wins.