Understanding fintech: 6 areas where technology can help your advice practice

5 mins read  
Date: 05 October 2016

It's the year 2020.

After having her morning routine looked after by Google Home - which shows Sue the latest E! entertainment news feed projected to her shower screen, prepares her Nespresso coffee just to her liking, and reads her Facebook messages to her as she gets dressed - Sue jumps into her driverless UBER taxi and heads off to work.

Sue sits back into her heated car seat to read a daily commentary of news items relevant to her retirement and investment portfolio. This includes snippets of news stories from around the web and commentary from analysts and investment bloggers she follows.

Almost at work, Sue's Pandora online radio playlist is interrupted with a breaking news report that has been personalised for her interests, which obviously include her investments. There has been another earthquake in Japan - This time close to major cities and industrial centres.

Knowing she has some investment portfolio exposure to the Japanese market, but not really understanding the implications of this natural disaster, she opens up her context-aware financial advice app. She speaks into her phone asking the app to perform a risk evaluation on her superannuation and investment portfolio. The context-aware advice app considers the current global data available, and highlights to her that some of her investments could be impacted which might push out her retirement by a further eighteen months, and impact on her short term financial goals too – in particular her planned holiday to Thailand next year.

She decides that she needs some more advice and sends an instant message to her financial adviser, Paul, requesting a video meeting.

Sue wishes she had listened to the social media futurists who had been predicting earthquakes in Japan for months. 


Technology is already changing the client/adviser relationship 

It is hard to believe that this scenario could be realistic by 2020, but it could be argued that it is already possible. Technology, and specifically fintech (financial technology) will profoundly change the client/adviser relationship and the wealth industry as a whole - in fact, it is making an impact already.

At netwealth we believe there are six areas where financial advisers should considering the impact of fintech:

  1. Customer profiling – Using data to better profile the advice and investment needs of their clients.
  2. Advice – Using data and artificial intelligence (AI) to identify best case scenarios and strategies for clients.
  3. Investment – Likewise, using data and AI to build best case objective-based investment portfolios.
  4. Insurance - With wearables like FitBits, phone apps and Apple watches becoming popular options for consumers to track their personal health and fitness goals, insurance companies are introducing a range of new services and features that integrate this fitness data with insurance products and processes.
  5. Customer engagement – Using technologies like video, social media, messenger apps and eSignatures to provide an 'always available', simplified, and user friendly client experience.
  6. Back office and reporting – System integrations, straight-through processing, blockchain technology and so on will provide better back office processes and efficiencies for practices.

To learn how advice business can embrace fintech, download the eBook which provide greater details and examples for each of these 6 areas.


Back at the office - dealing with an earthquake

Back at the office, Paul, a busy financial adviser, enjoys the efficiencies that new technology provides him.

After hearing the news about the earthquake in Japan, Paul had his virtual analyst collect and summarise relevant research analysis and commentary from all the major investment houses and social media feeds.

He has a number of clients impacted by the morning’s events and his system has identified his most exposed clients. Not surprisingly – Sue is not the only one of his clients that has been in touch to request a meeting.

He begins to assess the impact of the Japanese earthquakes on each individually client. Paul’s virtual analyst automatically runs a number of hypothetical scenarios for each client, coming up with a number of options and strategies for each earthquake-impacted client.

Paul sends these best case scenarios to each client for evaluation prior to meeting with them.

Later that day, Sue and Paul meet via an online virtual conference where together they agree upon their best action plan to rebalance Sue’s portfolio so she can stay on track to reach her goals. Sue signs the plan using her phone's facial recognition technology and a biometrically validated digital signature.


Netwealth and fintech 

It is clear that technology is evolving rapidly. Ideas that seemed like science fiction five years ago are now very real, and very successful parts of our day-to-day interactions with businesses – and our relationships with finance companies are certainly not isolated from this phenomenon.  

At Netwealth we believe that there are so many great fintech companies emerging, particularly in the wealth space. We see algorithmic investment services providing a low-cost service to entry-level or disengaged investors, we see AI-based advice systems supporting advice strategy and planning, and we also see fintech players playing a great role in data aggregation, analysis and insight development. Fintech also has a great role to play in how advisers engage with their customers, whether that is by video-streaming services or location-enabled mobile services, and so on. 

It is no secret that the fintech industry is on the brink of a boom. So how will your business adopt to the change? If you are interested, Netwealth would be happy to have a chat with you to provide their views and some insights as to how fintech can help your practice.

Download the eBook - Fintech for financial advice businesses