Why 2018 is the year to go digital

By Emma Blackburn
Find me on: LinkedIn 09-Jan-2018 11:59:35

With the new year in full swing, have you enacted your resolutions? As the world adapts to the technological revolution it is time for IFA’s to digitalise their work as well – that is why 2018 is the year to go digital.

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The most commonly used digital planning tools are client portals. These are used to communicate securely with clients and offer online access to their portfolios. Functionality can, however, be limited. Most advisers have been reluctant to promote these, but they are becoming increasingly important to securely confirm changes to policies and exchange important documents.

Other commonly used digital tools are secure messaging, Skype and Facetime meetings, with online fact finds for clients to complete, driving engagement and giving the client more control over their own advice process. Only a third of advisers, however, are offering such tools.

Robo advice is capturing headlines with most major financial retailers looking to adopt it over the next year. It is time for IFAs to get on board with this, too. Not only does an automated advice proposition open doors for new clients with less wealth, it also lessens the workload for advisers as many propositions can be generated automatically.

A study by the Financial Conduct Authority (the Financial Advice Market Review) in 2016 found that 69% of advisers have rejected clients in the past as they were not perceived as wealthy enough. The adoption of automated advice combats this problem since it introduces lower fees and no minimum investment amounts, expanding the range of clients eligible for financial advice.

If financial advisers can help people to improve their financial position today, which adviser are they likely to use tomorrow? It’s a great boost to any advice firm’s pipeline.

Additionally, another great reason to adopt a digital approach is the up and coming implementation of GDPR, which arrives on 25 May. Whilst the regulation poses many challenges, it also offers up opportunities and now is a great time to unload the overflowing filing cabinets and cleanse old files to ensure only the necessary data is being stored. Switching to a fully digital environment also allows for easier changes to client data and quicker access to it. Switching to electronic data storage also improves your data accuracy, which is crucial for GDPR.

There has never been a better time for advisers to go digital. We’re seeing a tremendous uptake in our Personal Finance Portal (PFP) which enables financial advice firms to offer a digital proposition to support their traditional models. PFP is helping firms to actively seek out new client opportunities and stay compliant with forthcoming regulations at the same time.

So, if you’re worried about regulatory challenges and shifting client demands, 2018 is the year to make the change. 2018 is the year to go digital.