The implementation of technology in the financial services space needs to extend far beyond increasing practice efficiency, according to Caboodle Financial Services managing director Peita Diamantidis.
Discussing the role of technology in the industry as part of a panel organised by software provider Advice Intelligence, Ms Diamantidis said clients already expect the industry to be using “cutting edge” technology in their practices and would be “mystified” if they discovered otherwise.
“I’m kind of with them on this,” she said.
“The bare minimum needs to be that we’re super-efficient due to technology, it needs to go well beyond that.”
Ms Diamantidis said the use of technology needs to be extended beyond simple tasks like improving efficiency and start being applied to other areas of the clients’ lives.
“Yes, we can provide complex advice and we can do all these tricky things, you know I was actuarially trained too and can do all sorts of tricky things, but the actual impact I can have on an individual is in getting them to spend less than they earn,” she said.
“If money behaviours is where we can really make a difference, I think we need to learn more from the apps out there that are having that sort of an impact.”
Ms Diamantidis pointed to a meditation app called ‘Headspace’, noting that the app encourages users to take time out from their day to relax, starting with a few minutes each day and gradually growing that time.
“If we can start to engage with consumers on that daily interaction that gradually changes their behaviours using technology, that to me is the magic we could produce.”
Fellow panellist and founder of Fox & Hare Wealth Jess Brady added that technology offerings such as this can help clients deepen their relationship with clients.
“For too long we have seen technology as a fear from a financial advice perspective that technology is going to come in and we’re going to lose the relationship that we have with clients; I would argue it does the very opposite,” she said.
“My hope is that in the future, we as a profession are excited and we embrace technology knowing that it will increase consumer interest and knowing that it will be able to help our clients track live where they’re at.”
IOOF Alliances national director Andy Marshall similarly noted that more can be done to improve the advice experience through technology, particularly in the creation of SOAs.
“We have wonderful modelling tools, but we still have to produce a template-like piece of advice, a document, and none of those things really connect,” he said.
“What I tend to see in looking at hundreds if not thousands of files and talking to advisers is there [are] these wonderful, rich conversations that are happening that all advisers are having, but then the richness of that conversation is lost because when I look at the SOA I can’t tell – it’s pretty generic.”