There is a fundamental challenge for wealth, asset and investment management firms today; how do you effectively offer your customers a system with a seamless experience across all available channels - desktop, tablet and mobile device - therefore providing a modern ‘omni-channel’ world operating 24/7?
Recently a large number of investment managers, including Aegon, Aviva, Investec, Royal London and Standard Life, have announced plans to boost their Direct to Consumer (D2C) presence, having previously relied heavily on intermediated business.
It is widely recognised that there is a change in consumer behaviour with a significant group of retail investors preferring easy-to-use, non-intermediated options for investment that they can carry out themselves, both online and via mobile devices, rather than pay for advice. As well as the shift in consumer behaviour, the intermediary landscape has fundamentally changed in the last few years (with unbundling of charges and pension freedoms) and this has made the cost of advice more transparent, in turn driving the need to adopt a digital presence.
There is a significant buzz around a number of innovation FinTech start-ups and their potential impact in disrupting the investment management industry that has operated largely via an established business model for hundreds of years. Companies such as Crowdcube, eToro, Wealthfront, Betterment and Nutmeg have all been highlighted in recent CB Insights reports.
Nutmeg, an investment service that puts together portfolios to match customers' attitude to risk, was formed just three years ago and is now very much on the radar of the larger investment management firms. Earlier this year, it also appointed a former Google executive to the role of Chief Product Officer.
With more investment management firms going digital by offering a mass-market online platform with simple to use, risk-profiled investment options, it will be interesting to see which are able to successfully differentiate their D2C platform. The best way to address digital disruption and the changes in consumer behaviour is to focus on the specific investment needs of your unique customers. Meanwhile, it is crucial to recognise that the nature and demographic of investment is changing, with a shift away from the professional and towards the mass market investor.
Creating a compelling User Experience
Against this backdrop, it is essential to build an omni-channel user experience and move away from considering each platform in isolation. After all, each platform has its own unique capabilities and features that should be exploited and combined.
In the coming weeks we hope to publish our latest whitepaper in this series, Making Technology Disappear: Building Omni-channel Systems for Financial Services, looking further into these issues to address the importance of user experience, rather than the device, when building an omni-channel system.
Scott Logic will be attending the D2C Conference in London on 24th June, where delegates will debate how themes, including those we aim to address in our upcoming whitepaper, affect the D2C space.
Contact us and we’ll let you know when the whitepaper is published and available to download for free.