Expanding regulatory frameworks, new types of competition and evolving client expectations are working together to create a “need to innovate” for advisors who want to grow their business and keep clients happy, according to Carrie Nelson, principal in EY’s financial services practice. “The firms that can deliver a superior client experience will be best positioned” for growth, Nelson told ThinkAdvisor.
As they think about ways to deliver that superior experience, they should think about how mobile tools can create a tighter connection.
There’s a behavioral aspect to using technology, particularly mobile, Nelson said. “Because you hold [your phone] so close to your face, you tend to trust it more or feel a physical touch that’s different from your laptop. Because there’s a physical, emotional experience with your mobile device, the firms and advisors who can harness that” to give clients a physical and emotional experience with their firm will be better positioned to retain those clients long term.
“The mobile phone engenders intimacy and a feeling of being permanently tethered to loved ones,” according to a 2006 paper by Jane Vincent, a research fellow at the University of Surrey’s Digital World Research Centre. In “Mobilisation: The Growing Public Interest in Mobile Technology,” James Harkin wrote that “mobile phones have become so intimately a part of us that they have come to represent an extension of our physical selves – an umbilical cord, anchoring the information society’s digital infrastructure to our very bodies.”
A 2015 report from the Pew Research Center found 64% of U.S. adults have a smartphone and for one in five, it’s the main way the access the internet.
Consumers in the United States are especially receptive to adopting fintech tools in general. EY’s FinTech Adoption Index found 16.5% of digitally active U.S. consumers had used at least two fintech products in the six months prior to being surveyed, second only to consumers in Hong Kong. The survey also found more than 11% of consumers use fintech tools because they offer a better online experience and functionality and 10.3% said they provided better quality of service.