The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was a significant catalyst in the adoption of technology by adviser businesses to enable secure contact with clients, technology provider Intelliflo has found.
Intelliflo saw an increase of 359 firms using its Intelligent Office software as a result of the regulation, which was introduced on May 25, 2018.
It stated the main attraction for advisers was the personal finance portal that allows advisers to exchange messages with customers in a secure way and gives customers access to their specific asset data.
Having been available since 2015, Intelliflo has claimed that GDPR rules had the biggest impact on advisers making use of the portal.
Nick Eatock, executive chairman at Intelliflo, said: "We experienced a 68 per cent increase in registrations to PFP last year, driven by adviser awareness that email is no longer good enough to communicate with customers.
"Having a system that offers secure messaging across PCs and mobile devices and that also dovetails with tailored customer financial data is becoming something that people expect as the norm, largely due to the services now offered by the major banks.
"The GDPR was a catalyst for advisers to embrace this technology and those that have are reporting excellent customer feedback as a result."
Overall, regulation was yet again regarded as the biggest business challenge for advisers in the year ahead, an Intelliflo survey has found.
But the survey of 200 Intelligent Office users also found that regulation was at the top of the list when asked about business opportunities.
Scott Gallacher, chartered financial planner at Rowley Turton, said: "I’m not surprised by Intelliflo’s figures. From our own perspective, getting ready for GDPR was a large drain on resources last year, and the issue of secure messaging was a particular concern to most advisers.
"It’s these added services from back office systems that really help advisers look after their clients as compliantly, and as efficiently, as possible."