9 FinTech areas to focus on

Aviva's Tim Walton gets an adviser viewpoint

What are the key FinTech Solutions advisers could adopt to stay ahead? Jane Hodges and Holly Heald are experienced advisers at the forefront of digital-first advice. Here are their top 9 tips.

Where digital can make the difference

1.    The fact find

When it comes to the first meeting with a client, it pays to be prepared. Asking the client to fill in an online fact find can save time in the meeting itself, plus it’s always good to know beforehand what the client is interested in discussing and the investment amounts available. There are various client relationship management tools available to help with this – Jane and Holly both use iO.

2.    Adding a risk profile

It can also be helpful to ask new clients to answer some risk profiling questions. This should help you avoid wasting time researching investment options that your clients immediately dismiss as being too risky.

3.   Go paper-free

Paper is not a regulatory requirement – and many clients are happy to keep their documents online. Paying for printed brochures and sending letters by post adds to your expenses; it’s also bad for the environment. Jane recommends checking that your chosen platform will enable you to do business in a way that works for you, including online document facilities.

4.  Take your meetings online

So many parts of our lives have gone online during the pandemic, but in terms of your business this change could be worth keeping. According to investment Trends, advisers’ use of online meetings with clients has surged, with 87% of advisers using these in 2021, up from 26% in 2020. Why not switch your face-to-face meeting to a screen-to-screen version? As Holly points out, there are many advantages to going online…

5.   Don’t forget to hit the record button

….such as being able to record your meetings. Saving online meetings makes it easy to refer back to earlier conversations or clarify any points you may be uncertain of. Jane uses recorded meetings as training tools for new advisers: far more effective than awkward role play between colleagues!

6.   Say no to manual data entry!

Not the “M” word… Spending hours copying data from one system to another is a waste of time, energy and sanity! Jane and Holly highly recommend using a platform that allows you to integrate its data with your back-office systems. You can hold all your adviser and client information in one place, feed it into client portals and run performance analyses with confidence.

7.   Use client portals

Digital can be just as useful for clients, Jane says. Client portals allow clients access to their documentation – users can view, download and print documents if they need to. They can also see their assets, look up historical documents and update their information on some portals.

8.   Go digital for signatures

It’s easy to obtain online signatures to go with online documents. There are several different tools available, which send a document digitally, allows the recipient to sign it electronically and then lets them send it back to you. With the process taking just minutes it can speed up applications and transactions by days. There’s no need to meet with a client just to get their signature, saving time and effort for you both.

9.   Get on board with ESG

Investments that take environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into consideration are growing rapidly in popularity, and Holly suggests using ESG tooling to help find the best options for your clients. It’s an option for all clients: even those approaching retirement can still make a difference through changes to their pension portfolio. Tooling helps you assess the ESG performance of individual holdings before you take your recommendations to clients.

When It takes Aviva…

It’s reassuring to see how many of Jane and Holly’s top tips cover areas we at Aviva are already implementing. In 2021 we introduced a paperless option for our customers and the Aviva Platform now supports signature lite, so you can send documents electronically instead of waiting for hard copies to arrive in the mail. Digital signatures are in place for most of our processes, with more being added all the time.

We’re one of a few market leaders in sharing our Platform data with back office systems. And if you decide against using a portal through your back office system or CRM, you can go through our Aviva portal instead.

Our new tooling ESG profiler takes responsible investing to the next level, allowing you an in-depth look at how individual holdings are performing in relation to ESG. Available on the Platform, it collates independently sourced data so you can be confident of receiving unbiased, accurate reporting.

With Jane and Holly’s advice and the services we offer, you can be confident of embracing all things digital.

Tim Walton
Senior FinTech/Platform Integration and Relationship Manager
Having worked in Financial Services for nearly 40 years, split between sales and FinTech development and deployment, Tim has a wealth of experience. For the past two decades, Tim has managed the software supplier relationships and the third-party integration partners for Aviva.

Holly Heald is the Managing Director of Just Financial Planning Ltd

Jane Hodges is the founder of Money Honey Financial Planning