Why changing the customer experience is Wealth Management's top priority

There are high levels of investment in technology used across different areas of wealth management. More than 24billion USD has been invested globally in wealth tech companies, including investment in start-ups, scaleups, and enterprise solutions. But why is it so crucial?

Posted by: 
Alexis Fox-Mills
Nov 14, 2019

November 14, 2019

Global WealthTech Summit

PassFort recently sponsored an event for senior decision makers in the Wealth Management sector, many of whom are redefining the industry.  The event was held to show the driving forces set to change wealth management in the coming months and years - innovation; trends; and emerging technologies facilitating the change.  

Tech advancements have been made across all areas of wealth management in recent years. In excess of 24billion USD has been invested globally in wealth tech companies*, which includes investment in start-ups, scale-ups, and enterprise solutions.

The Experts’ view

A panel of experts from companies including Barclays, Citi private bank, and Northern Trust kicked off a keynote discussion at the event to give their perspective on the issues that are top of the agenda for C-level execs working in wealth management, asset management firms and private banks.  

Discussions focussed on how the wealth and asset management models need to adapt to accommodate a shift in client expectations, and how the adoption of innovative and new technologies has prompted this.

The panel made clear that clients don’t operate, live or work in the way the wealth management industry has been used to. They are more tech savvy, more digitally enabled and used to faster, online consumption. So why would they expect anything different from their wealth management firm or private bank?

Marie Dzanis, of Northern Trust, described this well when saying that wealth management needs to be scalable for an “evolving, tech-adept consumer market”. She believed that understanding generational investing and engaging with this next area of business growth was a priority.

Next generation thinking

In the UK, it’s the 60 somethings that are, on average, the wealthiest age group according to a report from the BBC using data from the Office for National Statistics.

It’s a myth to believe that this generation - the one that gave us Bill Gates and Steve Jobs - is less au fait with emerging technology than younger generations. They were just early adopters.

Equally, the new generation of investors coming through is innately tech savvy, growing up with the internet, rather than inventing it.

Regardless of demographic, customers are forcing change.

With pressure to evolve on all sides, it can feel difficult for those in the wealth management industry to cope and keep pace. However, in Marie Dzanis’ words, “if you think change is hard, try irrelevance”.

The conclusion is that wealth management firms need to change their customer experience to stay relevant and continue to compete.

Changing customer experiences

Dirk Klee, CEO of Savings, Investment and Wealth at Barclays UK, said: We are “living in transformational times due to tech and customer expectations. [We need to] drive client journeys to make smarter investment decisions.”

Changing customer journeys means changing the whole experience of working with wealth management firms or private banks. Consumers that expect instant, on-demand service from their TVs, aren’t going to expect less from the organisation taking care of their million-dollar fortunes.

“Seeing behaviour change among clients interacting with non-financial  institutions - how they act and talk through apps like WeChat at WhatsApp – means we need to think about how we facilitate communication.” Added Farzan Riza, Chief Operating Officer at Citi Private Bank.

The digital onboarding journey

Changing the customer experience starts at the very first engagement. Creating a digital onboarding journey that is faster, online and streamlined helps wealth management firms and private banks deliver change and start a process they mean to continue.

Clients expect “instant fulfilment to match their experiences elsewhere” said Farzan Riza. This is a theme that we talked to people about a lot at the event.

PassFort’s expertise is in digital transformation of the customer onboarding journey. Carrying out all the necessary compliance checks on a new customer to create a relevant experience.

  • All necessary data providers are brought together through an online integration
  • Managers and onboarding teams act and collaborate in a single SaaS portal
  • Compliance policies are automated according to regulation, jurisdiction and product

The end result of the onboarding checks being faster and more efficient, which is of course unseen by the client. What the client knows is that the firm they are entrusting their investments to is easy to work with.

And for wealth managers, manual KYC and AML checks are kept to a minimum, so their time is focussed on talking to customers, which is where the real value is added – whether that conversation is face to face or via WhatsApp :)

See you next time?

We hope to be at the Global WealthTech summit next year, but we would love to hear from you in the meantime if PassFort can help you transform your customer onboarding journeys.

See you soon!

*Source: Richard Sachar, CEO Investor Networks LTD


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