The majority of Financial Planners expect to use more technology to boost client engagement in the next few years.
According to a survey by Financial Planning today, which features in the latest Financial Planning Today magazine, two thirds of planners said they would be increasing their use of technology in the next three years.
Our State of the Financial Planning Profession Survey also revealed that more than a fifth of firms intended to use “much more” video technology to engage with clients, followed by just under 18% who said they would be using it a “little more”.
Added to these statistics, nearly 8% of firms said they would consider conducting all or most of their meetings via video technology.
As well as video technology, online assistance is available in other areas of Financial Planning too and is increasingly part of planners’ day-to-day lives.
But hi-tech innovation must be appropriate, according to Roger Kennedy, director at AKFP Group.
Chartered Financial Planner Mr Kennedy said: “Before we take on any technology, or indeed change anything in our business, we always check there is a ‘win’ for the three stakeholders that we view as being invested in our business – clients, compliance and ourselves.
“Therefore, we have trialled over the last 12 months a Client Portal which gives a clear, uncomplicated view of clients’ finances in one place.
“Their investments, savings, pensions, insurances, bank accounts, credit cards, store cards, mortgages, loans and property alongside all the associated paperwork are available for them to view when it suits them.
“This is also used for client communications in a safe and secure environment, where we upload reports, documents and correspondence.
“This has been well-received and is being rolled out to existing clients and all new clients will be automatically delivered this software.
“We have taken on the initial and ongoing costs and it is one method we feel of delivering added value.
“In other areas, we appreciate that clients time is valuable so have taken on video conferencing technology, if the client prefers a quick catch up or a more in depth meeting, that way.”
Josh Richardson at Informed Financial Planning told Financial Planning Today: “I strongly support the use of technology in our industry and believe this will come to the forefront of the way we work over the next couple of years.”
He added: “Using technology to streamline our processes will enable us to be more cost-effective, provide a more holistic service for our clients and ensure that we provide a true Financial Planning service rather than just advice.”
The full survey, which covers a wide array of subjects relevant to the Financial Planning profession, appears in the latest issue of Financial Planning Today magazine.