Advisers must be educated about benefits of technology, software provider argues

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology across the financial advice sector, although many advisers remain who must still be educated about the benefits, 360 Dotnet has suggested.

The software provider said that advisers who have engaged with technology during the pandemic are now being pushed to understand the reasons to adopt technology more permanently.

The firm suggested the general expectation from many advisers has been that the process of adopting technology “may cause disruption and pain in the short term”. Following lockdown, however, 360 suggested the advisers who adopt technology now will see “huge benefits” over the coming months and years.

“For financial services as a whole, COVID-19 has really made advisers appreciate technology and understand better ways to become more efficient and to engage with clients,” 360 head of sales and account management, Dhaneer Popat, told MoneyAge. “We’ve had a saying for a long time which is that we believe data is the currency of our advisers.

“What we’ve tried to do over the last six months is nurture our existing clients using our CRM, and make them understand how valuable their current client bank actually is to them. Pre-lockdown, you had a queue of people outside the door wanting a mortgage, but as soon as lockdown happened that immediately stopped.

“With advisers, it was for us to then educate them in understanding how they can utilise a CRM system, to then understand how they can then review their clients, to make sure they’ve got the right mortgage or protection or general insurance in place. It’s about understanding the opportunity and the value of what the client bank will allow that firm.”

The software firm has also carried out its own research to find trends in the way its portal is being used, a part of which was based on age demographic.

This analysis indicated that from from 18-year-olds to those over the age of 65, engagement through all age groups was “very similar” and that they had all registered a level of engagement above 60% – demonstrating a "massive uptake” in people completing tasks that advisers are sending across.

“I can foresee that to be the ‘new normal’, because the engagement has been so high,” Popat added.

“Our main focus at the moment is on educating advisers and at the same time ensuring we build as many interactive tools as possible so that the end user client can gather all their data electronically, through things like ID verification, e-signatures on a system, or pulling through their credit reports.

“We believe that an interactive solution is something that’s going to fare extremely well over the next five to 10 years, and we want to be at the forefront of that. That is exactly why we’re looking into these avenues, to make sure that data remains the currency of our brokers.”

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