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Archive for the ‘communication’ Category

New Report: Mobile Apps for Wealth Management

Monday, May 30th, 2016

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The question for wealth managers is no longer if they should have a mobile app, but how they can develop a winning mobile app to provide them with an essential competitive advantage.

Almost eight years ago, in July 2008 the Apple App store was launched and Google Play followed only a few months later. Since then the app market has grown, apps have become an essential part of our lives and the technical possibilities have developed a lot. The wealth management industry is typically not among the first movers when it comes to technical innovations but we have seen that the market of mobile apps for wealth management is slowly but surely catching up. In our latest study Mobile Apps for Wealth Management we have analyzed the mobile apps of 30 of the biggest wealth managers worldwide. We have found that in contrast to the previous years, the number of wealth managers that offer dedicated apps to their wealthy clients has increased (from 63% in 2015 to 82% in our latest 2016 study).

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How technology is getting wealthy clients involved with their investments

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

One major finding of our report on Digital and Mobile Solutions for Financial Advisors 2015 is that vendors are increasingly targeting the end customer. For instance, while only half of the vendors we covered in the 2014 report offered apps that could be used simultaneously by advisors and end clients, this rate has increased to 88% in 2015. While, for example, eMoney Advisor’s client tool is actually a mobile compatible website, it offers interactive workshops to HNW clients for self-education, an electronic vault to store multimedia content, and screen sharing capabilities to enhance client-advisor communication.

The implication is that the market leaders have recognized that high-net-worth clients are becoming increasingly self-directed and demanding when it comes to tools for handling their financial matters. We are convinced that such tools will be an obligatory part of wealth managers’ digital offerings in the near future and, according to our latest findings, the leading solutions already excel today through extraordinary features like elaborate document management or screen sharing capabilities to collaborate with their financial advisors.

 

Apple’s electronic car and how it could change the ways we work, communicate and interact

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

With the unexpected level of success of the iPhone 6 generating record profits, Apple is said to be already ‘cooking’ up the next big tech sensation: the iCar. Apple’s shift into the auto sector would not mean the end of the iPhone business. On the contrary, Apple fans have come to devour anyiThing related to iPhones - apps, music, films and more. And that’s exactly the main idea behind the tech giant’s strategy: to captivate more prospects and clients with every new product into the Apple universe.

With Tesla already leading the electric car market one may wonder how is Apple going to compete against that given the company’s lack of experience in the strictly regulated automobile industry. Have the iBeetle and Google’s self-driving car not stolen the thunder away already? What new revolutionizing design or functionalities could the iCar bring? First of all, Apple has never played the race to first game, the iPhone was not the first smartphone ever seen and the iPad was not the first tablet on the market. Secondly, Apple’s strategy is strongly brand- focused on Apple being a product company and not a technology company like Samsung. The aim is not to come up with completely new products on the market but to make sure the products Apple brings to the market are well-designed and have cutting edge technology integrated. Therefore, the iCar project is going to take a few more years to be finalized. In the meantime, suggestions and rumors are unstoppable: the Apple car would connect to all its existing products thus creating an exciting Internet of Things (IoT) experience or it would enable unimagined ways of interacting through digital channels while driving. Imagine your car morphs into a full-fledged office. It will be another step to make clients and employees more independent of their physical surroundings. It will have implications for advisors and their clients, for the ways they work, meet, communicate and interact.

Electric cars and Apple definitely make an interesting combination but to take on the car industry will be a different kind of fight than everything Apple has done so far.

 

What wealth advisors can learn from Steve Jobs

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Reading about the more and more popular Steve Jobs schools or new iPad schools in the Netherlands it struck me that this kind of digitized scenario is exactly what happens or should be happening in the financial industry. Children attending these schools need no textbooks, blackboards, pencils, or fixed classrooms but only their iPad. They choose what they want to learn and in the rhythm they can do it. And most importantly, the educational apps are interactive, thus providing each kid with immediate feedback on his/her tasks, which changes the traditional teacher-student hierarchy into a closer student-coach relationship.

And this is also what financial advisory should be based on: coaching, advising, suggesting, making recommendations for the client while also allowing clients to use the same technology as the advisor does. Making sure the advisor has access to the latest tech solutions that bank clients are using, being able to offer flexible communication channels like social media or to share screens during a video conference with overseas clients.

Mobile devices and digital solutions reinvent the school for our children, offering them flexibility and enabling individualized learning, helping them stay focused on what they really want to learn. Applied to the advisory world, the advantages are the same: clients become empowered, stay up-to-date with developments and communicate effortlessly with their advisors from anywhere in the world while advisors and relationship managers morph into client coaches. Will banks and wealth managers have the courage to follow this new path?

Our upcoming report (March 2015) on mobile apps and digital solutions for wealth advisors will focus on the technology infrastructure required for a changing client relationship.

 

Instagram: Even banks can save 1000 words by posting a pic

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Social media’s disruption of communication is overwhelming financial institutions and creating confusion about which social networks they should focus on. Instagram, a mobile app based photo and video sharing platform, has skyrocketed to 300 million active users thus surpassing Twitter and making Instagram an important global media platform. But the pace of change and the mind boggling competitive dynamic in the social media industry is confusing to more conservative institutions like banks and wealth managers.

As our recent report Social Media for Banks and Wealth Managers: 2014 shows, it’s especially difficult to get banks to understand the significance of social media and the relevance of different social media platforms. 95% of the banks under evaluation have launched Facebook and Twitter presences but only 45% of them have an Instagram official photo stream.

Visual social media has become crucial in developing a good social media strategy. Unlike their more text-based siblings Facebook and Twitter, these channels give access to individual images and images are known to appeal to emotions and tell a story that is easier for consumers to connect with than informational texts. It is this emotional connection that distinguishes a brand, a service, a product, or a company from its competitors. Citi or Crédit Agricole are good examples of banking players that have well-structured Instagram presences with strong corporate images and entertaining posts.

As for those who have not yet joined the bandwagon: photo-stream us! Make us stare, meditate, laugh, frown, and get interested in your brand!

 

I am a millionaire, please txt me on WhatsApp

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Digital channels are gaining ground when it comes to communication between affluent/high-net-worth individuals and their financial advisors. A substantial minority of around 20% - 30% already communicates with their financial advisor via instant messaging providers, video chat, social media, and screen sharing. These data are from our latest 2014 Wealth Survey, covering China, the US, UK, Germany and France. Yet, the most striking insight is that the wealthiest group – high-net-worth-individuals with more than 1 million USD of investable assets – are the most tech-savvy when it comes to digital communication. Around 40% of this client segment state that they are using messengers and video chat predominantly when communicating with their financial advisor.

Implications for wealth management firms are disruptive: Advisors need to be ready to use new digital channels, and security and compliance issues need to be addressed. However, in the long-term there are even more profound consequences. If communication moves from analogue to digital, it becomes possible to use software for automating communication and answering inquiries. Robo-advisors are already automating portfolio allocation. It’s not unthinkable that they will also automate client communication in a not too distant future.

For more learnings and insights, get our 2014 Wealth Survey including 289 data slides.

 

Social networks offering payment solution: What will banks do?

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

News about the release of Snapcash surely came as no surprise to us at Myprivatebanking Research. The integration of social media and payment systems is successfully growing and clearly challenging traditional payment players like banks, credit card providers, and older online providers like PayPal. Whereas rumors have made rounds for the last months about Facebook’s plans for a mobile payments system using its Facebook Messenger iPhone app, another popular social messenger provider has stolen the thunder: Snapcash, the product of the recent collaboration between Snapchat and Square Cash (a mobile payments company headed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey), is the latest mobile payment option that allows users to send money to friends via the app by simply typing dollar amounts into new “Snapcash” messages. For now, Snapcash is available to Snapchatters in the United States who have a debit card and are 18 or older.

Trying to keep up the pace with consumers’ increasing demand for highly innovative and convenient products, successful offers like Snapcash or Applepay challenge the banking industry to come up with similar or better solutions. It is true that banks must deal with stricter regulatory guidelines but they should also be aware that consumers have more choices than ever and won’t wait for banks to catch up. But banks – across the globe – seem not to have a strategic response. Will they get frozen out of the online payments markets like music labels have failed to conquer the online music business and traditional book stores never were able to challenge Amazon in online book selling?

Very few banks have already invested in convenient mobile payment solutions aimed at improving the customer experience. Barclays’ Pingit app is one exception. Users can send and receive money via the app without sharing bank account details and even send gifts to friends. But Barclays is the exception and not the rule in the banking industry. Will they finally give up this market to the tech players?

 

Why the Investment Industry Should Look at BuzzFeed

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

(by Francis Groves, Senior Analyst)

A few days ago the MyPrivateBanking team were discussing communication and the topic of bullet point came up. Generation Y members of the team were strongly in favour; ‘bullets are snappy, they help the reader focus.’ The baby-boomer wasn’t so sure; ‘it feels like you’re being shouted at’.

This made me think about the way in which the investment industry customarily communicates with investors, whether they are wealth management clients, retail clients of banks or D-I-Y investors. By and large, even in today’s wired world investment content is surprisingly long-winded. Service providers are still providing commentary in substantial chunks of text; they are publishing as if they have to fill up a certain amount of space. And, collectively, much of what they say is repetitive. They seem to have an old fashioned and now misguided idea of what really works for their readers or, you could say, they are focusing on a type of reader who is time-rich, likes reading and equates financial wisdom with acquiring more and more detail.

Perhaps it’s time for a change to providing investment commentary that’s more suited to younger generations. They’re perfectly happy to read but they really don’t want to read the same things over and over again. They want to know what matters and they only need to be told once that, say, shale gas affects energy prices or that good economic data is bad news because it increases the likelihood of interest rate rises. News in brief columns in the press and short business bulletins on the radio work for them but they need news media to be more helpful still.

Maybe it’s time to try out business news that looks more like Buzzfeed lists and rich and varied graphical content and even to start mining ’standard’ news as if it was big data; think of headlines like: “how many mentions of ‘forward guidance’ has Federal Reserve Chairman, Janet Yellen, made in the last three months?” accompanied by a chart.

 
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