How much have you thought about electronic delivery (e-delivery) of required documents for your clients? Do you casually bring it up during client meetings, or is it a focused initiative where you regularly monitor your clients’ adoption of e-delivery? The primary benefits of e-delivery for you are that it reduces paper and lowers costs. I believe the benefits are much more than this, though, and when you address e-delivery with your clients and your reasons for using it, it will involve you in more discussion about good habits than about technology.
Do you really think it is a good idea for your clients to receive their statements, reports and other detailed account documents via the mail? How secure is your home mail box? Chances are it is fairly easy for someone to steal the mail. Envelopes that contain financial statements are not very hard to identify. Why take the risk? All it takes is one statement to be misdelivered or stolen, and then you need to start thinking about changing account numbers to protect your client.
Reducing the amount of paper your client receives should also be considered a competitive advantage for your firm. Clients complain frequently that they receive too much mail regarding their accounts. Whether it’s statements, confirmations, prospectuses, shareholder documents or performance reports, it all adds to clutter, and much of it goes into the round file.
E-delivery is especially important to set up for new clients. Think about how much mail your client receives when they first begin to do business with you. There is a lot of paper coming their way if you haven’t set up e-delivery. This is definitely not the best first impression. Therefore, take advantage of turning on e-delivery right from the beginning. For many custodians, e-delivery is something you can set-up as a default option on the new account application. You can easily set up a portal where you can post reports, agreements and other documents for your clients.