MyPrivateBanking Blog
Daily Comments on the World of Wealth Management

The habits of digital natives have disrupted the sales process in fund and asset management. Many people are using the Internet to do their own research on the firm and product offers. Only late in the process, they will get in touch with the firm they believe is most likely to match their specific needs. For financial service providers it is important to proactively facilitate an engaging communication with prospective clients already during this time in the decision making process.

According to a study by Scorpio and Pershing: “among under 35s, digital sets the direction of search for a financial provider”. When selecting a financial provider, a website is the third most influential factor for those under 35 when choosing a financial provider. The firm´s reputation and Internet search engines are also important decision making factors. Therefore, SEO to enhance website traffic and providing a convincing and interactive website have become the most important factors in the sale process. MyPrivateBanking has just released a report on “Websites for Fund and Asset Management 2016” providing a benchmarking of the websites of the leading 15 fund and asset managers worldwide. The report also gives insights into trends in the asset management industry and outlines the key factors of providing a convincing website.

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Digital banks become more and more attractive to millennials who expect secure and convenient banking solutions when on-the-go. Atom Bank (based in the UK) is the latest online bank promoting innovative features that put brick-and-mortar retail banks and wealth management firms under pressure as they have difficulties to keep pace with the latest technology trends. Atom Bank uses a combination of biometric technology empowering clients to authenticate password-free by means of face and voice recognition technology. Another example is the more staid USAA financial conglomerate that already uses IdentityX, the biometric platform by Daon.

The increasing popularity of biometric authentication methods will surely challenge the banking industry and tech giants like Google to offer improved client experience and secure login options. Google’s new password free login allows invited users to sign in their Google account by responding to a notification sent to their smartphone; the new login option fails to add security to mobile users whose smartphones have no lock-screen protection or fingerprint identification option in case their smartphone is stolen. Google will be challenged to offer something more secure and customer friendly – something that could be delivered by biometric authentication.

Client habits and potential regulatory hurdles may slow down the move to biometric authentication but we have no doubt that the future lies beyond manual passwords and (SMS) token. The future will offer a seamless digital experience to every client – from log-in throughout the complete customer journey.

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As digital wealth management is one of the hot topics at the moment in the financial industry, MyPrivateBanking’s analysts have embarked on a journey to evaluate remarkable and innovative features of secured websites and mobile apps for wealth management.

The forthcoming focus-style study ‘Behind the Login – Helping the Wealthy to Connect and Transact’ sets itself apart from the previous benchmarking reports by analyzing exclusively the behind the login content and capabilities of digital offerings for wealthy clients. Based on comprehensive interviews with representatives of leading wealth management firms and intensive analysis, the report explores the current and potential digital wealth capabilities, it shows how the digital strategy for wealth/private banking is defined and provides strategic recommendations and suggestions like the ‘10 essential capabilities for Digital Wealth Management in 2016’.

Don’t miss out this report on the secure site and app offerings for HNWIs! This report will be published soon – please check our website.

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In our analysis of the Apple Watch banking apps offered by 22 of the largest retail banks worldwide, we come to the conclusion that the first generation of banking apps reveal some major shortcomings while in other industries, there are already several outstanding examples.

The infographic below displays the share of points the banks achieved for the nine features an Apple Watch banking app should contain. The results show that amongst other aspects, banks yet have to recognize the main benefit of a smartwatch app – the access to a very personal accessory of their clients that allows banks to get closer to their clients’ daily lives. Hence, Apple Watch apps should particularly deliver mobile moments that excite clients. Making use of the client’s location, interests, and financial situation for personalized offers, news, and product offerings is a field not yet explored by the leading retail banks, albeit adding substantially to a bank’s equipment in the race for clients’ attention.

The study shows how in other industries apps perform very well in delivering such mobile moments amongst other impressing best practices banks should take a closer look at when developing their Apple Watch apps.

Don’t miss out on our new study available tomorrow to not lose sight of what really matters when developing your Apple Watch app. sum

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This week MyPrivateBanking Research releases the first comprehensive report on banking apps of the largest retail banks worldwide that run on the Apple Watch.

The report shows that the market for wearables will substantially benefit from the launch of the Apple Watch as it continues to grow to over $ 12 billion by 2018. The implication for banks is obvious: as the market penetration of smartwatches is increasing, the demand for banking apps that run on these devices will increase at the same rate. Actually, many banks are adopting this technology already today: The MyPrivateBanking report evaluates 23 Apple Watch apps of 22 banks and compares their overall performance. The evaluation comes to the conclusion that today’s Apple Watch banking apps are mainly providing only very basic features lacking the capability to excite clients. Outstanding examples from other industries and comprehensive strategic recommendations complete the study.

Watch out for our concise guidelines helping banks to take the right steps towards a winning Apple Watch app.

Wearable device market value from 2010-2018

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Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has just revealed that video views on Facebook have doubled since April with more than 500 million users watching eight billion video views daily. Responding to the exploding importance of video, Facebook added new features to its platform like live broadcast for public figures and 360° videos for creators. This way, companies get more opportunities to communicate their message to their customers.

How can banks and wealth managers take advantage of this significant trend? Here are a few suggestions:

Keeping clients up-to-date. Most people prefer to watch news and headline content via video instead of reading long, complex articles. Market developments and investment topics are a great area for video coverage. An interactive video stream covering investment topics and economic research is certainly a great idea to support clients in their investment decisions.

Education. Banks are expected to support their clients in every important life situation and educate them about important financial decisions. For instance, the purchase of a new house requires a lot of assistance. A dedicated video blog that gives tips and guidance how to calculate the costs of a house purchase and setting up a financing plan would add a lot of value to many customers.

Promotion. Many clients customarily ignore their bank’s promotional material – 90% of a bank’s promotional letters go in to the bin immediately. Adding promotional videos to social media presences in a smart way can increase the eyeballs significantly. Yet this works only when the video is only shown to users that indicate an interest in the topic area – using the particular search terms, looking at related content on social networks or showing other behavioral patterns that will spark an interest in the banks promotional videos.

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From passwords to two-factor authentication, bio-authentication, and tokenization, both consumers and cybercriminals have forced the online and mobile banking industry to come up with innovative and convenient security technologies. The latest functionality announced to be available to US e-commerce consumers in the middle of 2016 is MasterCard’s new facial recognition-based identification method. Online retailers will be able to authorize a transaction by taking a snapshot of their face and blinking once (to prevent fraudsters from holding up a picture of the retailer and fooling the system).

Particularly popular with Millennials or the ‘selfie-generation’, using selfies to authorize transactions is a clear advantage to passwords/ PINs as it saves consumers from remembering complicated combinations of numbers or letters.

Just like other biometric authentication functionalities, ‘pay by selfie’ is surely on-trend but it remains uncertain how secure the new technology is. Biometrics that rely on static information like face recognition or fingerprints can be easily faked; the case of the German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen’s fingerprint cloned just from photos is a solid proof in this sense.

The retail banking industry is rushing its way in offering consumers innovative mobile technology functionalities but the next generation of mobile banking apps needs to include stronger security features to make cyberattacks impossible.

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In our Mobile Apps for Banking 2015 benchmark, Credit Suisse appears to be the most successful bank when it comes to continuous improvements during the last three years.

While DBS and BNP Paribas are on top of our rankings regularly, Credit Suisse managed to jump from the 13th rank in 2013 to the 9th rank in 2014 and arrive at the third rank in this year’s evaluation of the banking apps offered by the 35 largest retail banks worldwide.

Credit Suisse is rolling out its new digital strategy since beginning of this year and the continuously improving performance of its mobile flagship Private Banking Schweiz shows its great success. These are the four improvements that had most impact on its progression:

Core functions: The new version now offers a complete set of core functions, including trading.

Add-ons for clients: Clients can view their finances graphically, making it easy and convenient to check the financial situation at a glance.

Content for customer retention and marketing: Clients can now apply for new products and services directly from the app and they have access to a comprehensive section discussing mortgage, including video material, calculators and tips.

Attraction of a whole client segment: The Viva app contains valuable rewards and music streaming offerings, which is particularly attractive to the young client segment.

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Although there has been little acknowledgment from the wealth management industry, the rise in crowdfunding in recent years has been remarkable. Goldman Sachs sizes the addressable market for crowdfunding at about $1.2 trillion. This is the total market value for crowdfunding that could be realized in the long-term. For 2014, Goldman Sachs estimates the U.S. crowdfunding market size at $10 billion, up from just $1 billion in 2011. The Worldbank forecast that global crowdfunding could increase to between $500 billion and $1 trillion by the mid-Twenty Twenties. These numbers include marketplace lending (e.g. Lending Club), equity-based crowdfunding (e.g. Circle Up and OurCrowd) and donation-based crowdfundfing (e.g. Kickstarter).

But isn’t crowdfunding something invented by hipsters to collect a few thousand dollars for some crazy art project or an even crazier new invention that will not go anywhere? That was probably true in the very beginning of the crowdfunding trend, 10 or even 5 years ago. But nowadays crowdfunding has flourished into a multi-billion-dollar industry, quickly spreading across the globe. Even institutional money is now flowing into (specifically p2p/p2b) lending-based crowdfunding chasing for better returns than one can get on a typical fixed income security.

So crowdfunding is opening up not only to small retail investors but also to institutional and private wealth. Therefore, crowdfunding brings some threats to the wealth management industry. In a way it is another tool that disintermediates investing as robo-advice does in another context. Affluent individuals, HNWIs or potentially wealthy individuals are using more or less automated platforms to engage with investment targets in a much more direct fashion compared to investing through a typical wealth manager. The functional and emotional benefits of this type of investing may - over the long run - shift assets under management away from the traditional wealth management industry.

But where there are threats there are also opportunities…. We’ll explore the whole field of crowdfunding from the perspective of wealth managers and private banks in a shortly to be published new report. Stay tuned.

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Here’s the fourth hint for our little quiz about which bank showed an outstanding effort in continuously improving its core banking app in our yearly ‘Mobile Apps for Banking’ benchmarking:

4.) THE BANK WE ARE SEARCHING IS KEEPING PACE WITH THE LATEST TRENDS, OFFERING A SMARTWATCH APP THAT ADDS A LOT OF VALUE TO INVESTORS

Watch out for our new report coming soon!

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