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Digitisation of financial advice depends on good user experience

21 April 2021

Greater digitalisation will only be adopted by financial advice firms if the user experience for advisers and clients matches expectations, according to Visible Capital chief executive Ross Laurie.

The wealthtech CEO said that while technology has played a key role in helping advice firms build their businesses and  improve their services to clients over the years, a common complaint the firm heard from advisers “is that often the technology is not intuitive and in some instances is more a burden than a boon”.

“While the pandemic has increased use of online and virtual services and made digital a far more familiar experience for many, digital savvy clients have raised expectations of the service they want to receive from their financial advisers.”

Laurie said there are four prime areas where client expectations have been raised: Accessibility, convenience, efficiency and speed.

“This is now what they want from their adviser because that’s what they’re used to getting from the digital platforms they are using across their professional and social lives.

“We know, from the business we are doing with them, that financial advisers throughout the UK are beginning to recognise this and want the technology that can deliver it for them.”

Laurie added that Visible Capital has identified five requisites for the user experience of wealth technology if advice firms are to adopt it:

1. The experience has to be intuitive to use for advice firm staff, and particularly if it is being used by clients.

2. There have to be tangible benefits for both adviser and client – such as convenience, speed and accessibility of data and advice.

3. There has to be real value for the advice business – saved time, more interaction with clients and increased profits.

4. The technology has to integrate seamlessly with advice firms’ existing technology.

5. It has to complement the human side of financial advice.

he said: “When customers get the kind of swift and seamless service from their financial adviser that they are used to getting from other areas, they are much more likely to remain loyal and profitable.

“Now with open banking and API the user experience can be made much smoother and intuitive.

“For financial firms looking to get the tech right, choosing the right technology partner is a fundamentally important decision. And importantly, it’s a decision that needs to be made, not simply from the top down but by decision-makers listening carefully to their in-house teams, their financial advisers, paraplanners and administrators, the people who are in touch with the needs of their clients and delivering the day-to-day service.

“Adviser firms that get the user experience right – both for their clients and for their financial advisers – are the ones who are going to stand out from the crowd, the firms that will grow and flourish.”

Professional Paraplanner