Harnessing technology won’t solve all your problems but it can set you apart from the pack. By leveraging technology and all that it has to offer, advisers can future-proof their firms and take any change in their stride.
As the dust settles from the royal commission, bank bosses from ANZ and NAB have said they’re ready to reboot small business lending.
The capital opportunity will buoy consumer confidence and start to revitalise the wealth management sector which has for months been in a holding pattern as recommendations from the commission’s findings were interpreted.
One thing that’s emerged is that technology isn’t going to be the solution to all the industry’s problems and it also isn’t a threat to the traditional adviser’s job. The idea of human insights, mixed with the right technology stack is what will catapult our sector into its next era.
Building that integrated technology ecosystem isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Technology companies spend millions of dollars and employee hours on making sure all the different pieces of software link together so data can flow freely in and out of your systems.
This is all made possible by application programming interfaces (APIs) which allow one piece of software to access information from another. As an example, APIs are used to connect consumers’ bank account details with a selection of financial technology solutions, such as payment apps, bank account aggregation apps and wealth management platforms.
For financial advisers, this technology ecosystem will make it much easier to provide clients with a ‘whole of wealth’ view of their finances. When it comes to the technology available to financial advisers, wealth management platforms will be able to give advisers and their clients an even more complete view of their finances, with the ability to aggregate data feeds from mortgage providers, vehicle financiers, insurers and, under open banking, a more comprehensive set of financial institutions. With better access to real-time data, advisers can provide their clients with more accurate, proactive and forward-looking advice.
However, with all these tech options available, what’s become crystal clear is that the relationship between industry and consumers needs to change. The royal commission has highlighted that consumers are calling for more transparency and a better customer experience. As old commission models fade, driven largely by technology and a shift in the industry, many are searching for answers and a new way to survive. Advisers looking to build a business that’s future-proof need to address the changing needs and demands of clients. One way to do this is to harness the power of the tech ecosystem, leveraging up-to-date data to provide more personalised advice to clients.
Another way advisers can provide better value to clients is by going mobile. In the relatively short time that smartphones have been around, they have completely transformed the way we communicate, and subsequently, the way consumers expect to receive services. Mobility and improved connectivity mean clients expect more; more personalised services and more contact. Advisers need to provide clients with multiple ways to communicate and engage. Clients increasingly need to be able to request help at any time and the expectation is that technology and mobility will drive this relationship. It’s this personal connection that will differentiate your firm’s services.
Stephen Jackel, chief executive, myprosperity