Millennials to expect client portal tech

One-quarter of financial advice businesses use client portal technology despite one-in-three advisable Australians putting digital capability in their top three reasons for choosing an advice firm, according to research.

Netwealth’s 2021 AdviceTech Report found almost half of advisable millennial Australians put digital capability in their top three reasons for choosing an advice firm, but the advice market was headed toward further client portal technology integration, with 65.3% of the market expected to implement the technology in the next two years.

Netwealth’s joint managing director, Matt Heine, said: “The adoption of technology by people of all ages, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has highlighted the importance of digitising the adviser-client experience”.

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According to the report, 1.5 million millennials make up what it called ‘the emerging affluent’- a growing market segment controlling approximately $2.2 trillion in household wealth who also demand functional technology in the services they use.

“As digital natives, advice firms will need to double-down their digital investment, but the pay-off could be hugely favourable, as the emerging affluent might be their future client base,” Heine said.

Across the generational divide, the report showed investors wanted the ability to digitally and conveniently view household balance sheets, track spending and financial goals, access and sign financial documents, buy and sell investments, access educational materials and meet their financial planner; all services that are not adequately being met by the industry.

The leading benefits of client portals according to the advice industry personnel surveyed was improved adviser-client transparency, improved client collaboration, better client communication and improved client education.

The most common client portal technology solutions in the financial advice industry were client relationship management software, financial planning software, dedicated client portal software and investment platforms.

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