Mobile devices permeate almost every aspect of modern life. Month by month we do more and more things using them.
For an increasing number of consumers, mobile devices are where they get information and that is not just reading newspapers, watching TV or participating in social media. If a financial adviser is not present where their clients choose to access information, they are putting themselves at a serious and unnecessary risk of being replaced or at least marginalised by other services or advisers who do.
It is no longer hard for advisers to include such capability as part of their services. Yes, advisers still want all the client record-keeping, regulatory reporting and workflows to operate effectively, but what really matters is what you put in front of the client.
Just about every adviser software system offers some form of client portal these days; indeed, I would seriously question the wisdom of selecting a system that does not have such capability built in.
Personal financial management (PFM) is now a crucial component of client portals and, in the workplace market, any financial wellness proposition. The two leading client portals that include integrated personal financial management come from Intelliflo and True Potential, which have both released significant upgrades to their offerings within the past few weeks.
Intelliflo’s PFM is more of a native app and currently has a slightly more enhanced user interface, which is highly configurable to meet individual users' priorities. Conversely, True Potential now includes both impulseSave and roundup micro-savings technology. Both have related capability to increase savings. Intelliflo does this through its automated advice service, although this is currently restricted to Isas and general investment accounts. The True Potential offering includes Isas, general investment accounts and Sipps, although this is not an automated advice service.
There is no room to list all the standalone PFM services here; however, one of my current favourites is Moneyhub Enterprise. Recently inducted to the FCA sandbox project, it delivers proactive insights to consumers to help them achieve savings. An extensive list of other standalone PFMs and micro-savings products can be found in the directory area at www.digitalwealthinsights.com together with reviews of the more advanced propositions.
Technologists are actively debating the importance or not of actually delivering services via a native app, that is, something that can be distributed via an app store or responsive web page. A responsive page is one that resizes itself depending on the device on which it is being presented. There are arguments in favour of both and I do not want to get too distracted on that subject, but as mobile web now represents most web traffic, you want any client-facing service to use one or the other.