Fintech and the (artificial) future of advice

By Teamspirit on Wednesday, 25 April 2018

On Tuesday, we hosted the latest Financial Services Forum event on fintech’s impact on the advice marketplace, and what the future may hold.

Jason Chapman, Managing Director at Willis Owen, kicked off the conversation with what the industry is really up against. How many customers actually spend as much time planning their pension as, say, their holiday budget? Almost none. Exactly.

That means the elusive DIY customer remains rare, and the general public needs as much help as they can get. The advent of tech and processes should help people take those all-important first steps to financial security though. Ultimately, it all comes down to the customer and how we can better engage them. With our very own Fiona Couper chairing the session, the rest of the panel made up of Keith Carby (Chairman of Maibridge Ltd), Phil Blows (Sales Director at Wealth Wizards) and Charlotte Ransom (CEO of Netwealth), quickly dived right in.

The conversation continued, tickling behavioural economics before shifting onto employers. Perhaps they could help shake up the industry, by becoming an avenue for the average human being to sort out their finances.

Although there were much stronger views on how to help the public in the room: make it mandatory. It was proposed the government could (and should) encourage folks in the right direction.

This lead neatly into the idea of trust and how important it is in the world of finance. Will millennials ever trust institutions to take care of their needs? We’re yet to find out fully, however it’s their parents and beyond that are concerning the industry more.

When they retire, who then will take on the mantle? Perhaps fintech, and the likes of roboadvisers, will help bridge the gap. The idea of gamification then came up, which led the discussion toward ‘freemium’ services and how they could play a part in the exciting future of finance.

All of this then raised a good point: people are living longer. Therefore comprehensive plans are needed to make sure everyone can live their lives as they’d like to. But what about the near future – what’s going to change in the next five years?

The entire panel were all in agreement: the next five years will see a surge in the exploration of fintech. Perhaps we’ll see more social media involvement, a wider variety of hybrids, or an explosion of bots across the industry.

The overall hypothesis for the day was around whether the advice marketplace has become more democratised. And will this lead to more premium avenues and options?

It seems we’re leaning towards a world where customers can become real self-starters. And tech may well make the financial world more accessible and relatable – but we’re of the mind that premium advice will always have a place, especially for those enjoying their later years.

So whatever happens, advisers are here to stay. People will always need guidance. It’ll just be available in different formats, with artificial intelligence simply providing more exciting options for all. That sounds good to us. Bleep boop.

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