1. The digital customer experience becomes a priority for financial services as consumer demographics and behaviors evolve.
Millennials, the largest segment of the workforce, and Gen Z, the largest population today, are driving more tech-savvy activities than ever before. These generations tend to be more challenging to satisfy and want more personalized services such as digital touchpoints to easily access data anywhere/anytime. They also want an omni-channel experience that enables them to access info whether it’s from their phone, laptop, or face-to-face. Being able to offer more holistic services with technology, is enabling wealth advisors to provide more than just financial advice. Advisors can better support a client’s personal goals and lifestyles, as well as connect clients with experts for specific financial and non-financial needs. This holistic suite of services for the advisor will continue to grow in importance, and in 2021, an enhanced digital customer experience will be a strategic priority for financial services.
2. Family offices and wealth management firms will turn to automation and the cloud in the midst of a pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, family offices didn’t have the impetus to make technology purchases. However, now that many firms need to work remotely, it is critical that wealth advisors are still able to deliver value. With COVID-19 accelerating technology adoption, moving to the cloud enables a secure and easy way to access data to monitor financial performance and share information with key stakeholders in real time. Up to 40percent of work in the family office/wealth management firm is comprised of aggregating and collecting historical data and then reporting back, but the reality is that 95percent of that can be automated. In 2021, it will be about minimizing the manual effort so firms have more time to be strategic and deliver higher value via better insights, better client knowledge, and, in turn, proactively provide more strategic advice/services.
3. Future of wealth management will be fueled by a shared marketplace.
With banks focusing on investing in technology, more pressure will be put on other areas of financial services like wealth management to keep pace. In 2021, we will see these 4 pillars of change:
• Moving from a product focused industry to experience.
• Moving from assets focus to data being more critical.
• Moving from building/buying capabilities to more of a partnership model.
• Moving from ownership of everything to more of a shared marketplace model. For example, Amazon, a technology company, is now offering a range of financial services – AmazonPay, AmazonCash, AmazonLending, etc. all in the name of offering value in a seamless, central way for the end user.
Moving forward in the new year, firms should look to:
• Ensure that technology has a seat at the table
• Implement robust data ownership and cybersecurity protocols
• Embrace data – Collect and aggregate data to support data-driven/strategic decisions
• Identify where to automate processes and reporting
• Integrate a delivery of services through an ecosystem of partners
Diana M. Ermini, director, financial services vertical, Sage.