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Fairstone’s digital advice solution mimics face-to-face consultation

19 August 2020

Chartered financial planning fiorm Fairstone has launched a new digital remote advice solution in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The service, named ZETO, will mimic a face-to-face consultation, enabling advisers and clients to communicate with each other as they would in person.

Advisers will be able to screen share, transfer files, execute documents and use illustration in real-time, as well as record the session and append notes. The service also includes a pre-meeting digital introduction to the process, as well as customisable presentation and guidance tools.

Fairstone said its own research had shown a growing trend towards virtual advice, with 88% of consumers happy to conduct virtual meetings and 73% expressing a preference for video conferencing.

Among those surveyed, seeing who they were conversing with (66%) was cited as the most important aspect of a virtual meeting, while 24% listed the security of the application.

Meanwhile, a separate survey found advisers liked a mix of both face-to-face and remote meetings, with 49% preferring in person interaction and 33% stating a preference for remote meetings.

Lee Hartley, CEO, Fairstone (pictured), said: “By taking a flexible and adaptable approach, we have been able to incorporate the lessons and best practice we have learned from our period of working from home. While face-to-face and direct contact with clients will always remain at the core of our business, technology can allow advisers to work more efficiently and spend more time with clients.

“Championing a new innovative world of working will enable us as a firm to embrace the best of both worlds. Our aim is to engage with clients in a secure and sustainable way to ensure we maintain the highest standard of service.”

Hartley added that the move to launch a digital service represented a “differentiator” in Fairstone’s strategy, with the firm now having to decide just how much of the business should be delivered in this way and for which workstreams ZETO becomes its default.

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