Five advantages of a customer portal
“Putting their financial information at their fingertips encourages greater confidence and support for the financial plan, giving clients a better understanding of the value provided by the counseling process.”
2012 was a year of technical transition. It saw the production of the last UK-built typewriter as the machine gave way to computer dominance and also the launch of Britain’s first 4G mobile network which brought data services to broadband to major cities in England, Scotland and Wales. This was the country’s last analog TV broadcast and the completion of the digital TV switchover, and it was the year that the intelliflo personal finance portal went live for customers.
The portal was launched as a simple way for clients to access detailed information about their investments and perform basic transactions. Almost ten years later, that goal remains at the heart of the solution, but technology has advanced and there are many other benefits to using a customer portal now, both for the customer and for the advisors. Here are my top five.
1. Share information securely
One of the main advantages of a customer portal has always been the ability to share information with customers in a secure format. Documents can be shared, signed and submitted in the portal without the expense or time required to print, mail and return documents, speeding up administrative processes and reducing your service costs. Portals also improve the customer experience, providing access to their data in real time, so they can see how their finances are performing whenever they want, rather than calling you for an update or waiting for a call. face to face meeting. You can also use the portal to disseminate targeted information to individuals or groups regarding important events, market volatility or regulatory updates, demonstrating your expertise and reassuring customers in times of uncertainty. This has been increasingly important over the past 18 months of closures and restrictions, as evidenced by the 85% increase in the number of users of the intelliflo personal finance portal between January 2020 and January 2021.
2. Offer an omnichannel experience
Customer portals can also meet growing customer expectations for an interactive digital experience alongside traditional face-to-face and over-the-phone advice, which can be personalized to provide an appearance that is consistent with the rest of your brand. Integrations with co-browsing functionality allow you to meet customers virtually and communicate via text, chat, audio or video in a secure online environment. According to broadcasting regulator Ofcom, the pandemic has accelerated the uptake of online services, with more than seven in 10 online adults in the UK now making video calls at least once a week, doubling from digits before locking. The trend is even more noticeable among older Internet users; the number of Internet users over 65 who make at least one video call almost tripled between February 2020 and May 2020. This greater acceptance of digital tools and communication is boosting expectations of an omnichannel experience on the part of service providers from all sectors.
3. Support regulatory compliance
Using a customer portal can play an important role in meeting compliance and regulatory requirements, including data security requirements of GDPR and MiFID II. The automatic audit trail makes it easy to prove regulatory compliance, while the secure sharing and storage of documents reduces the risk of data breaches when submitting personal and sensitive information. In the first quarter of 2021, the Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) received 255 reports of data breaches from the finance, insurance and credit industry, including 80 relating to data emailed, faxed or posted to the wrong person, while only four were due to a customer is shown someone else’s data through a customer portal.
4. Provide a global view of the client’s finances
With the Open Banking feature, customers have the ability to link their bank accounts, credit cards and mortgages to the portal, creating a complete view of their personal finances in one place. It can help save time early in the relationship by pulling bank account information to fact finding to automatically populate income and expense data and support preparation for client meetings and updates. up to date with easy access to accurate cash flow and product information. Aggregating the client’s short-term cash flow and unadvised product data alongside the advised portfolio gives a broader perspective on their overall financial position. In the first three weeks of the launch of the Open Banking feature within the personal finance portal intelliflo last year, advisers identified £ 20million of ‘held’ assets.
5. Demonstrate the value you add
Putting their financial information at their fingertips encourages greater confidence and support for the financial plan, giving clients a better understanding of the value provided by the counseling process. A Vanguard study of U.S. investors last year found that 41% of the perceived value of traditional financial advice came from emotional factors such as trust, personal connection with the advisor, and proactive outreach, while 59% were due to functional attributes such as financial plan, continuous monitoring, visibility of portfolio changes and plan maximization of return on investments. Exposing the work you do for your client, providing access to detailed information about their investments, and providing focused expert information helps to highlight the functional aspects of your service, while reinforcing the emotional factors within the relationship. and demonstrating the value of your advice.
Client portals can be of tremendous benefit to consulting firms by providing a secure method of sharing information that saves time and money while meeting regulatory requirements. They also allow clients to access their financial information anytime, from any device, and help advisors deliver an engaging experience alongside face-to-face, phone and video contacts.