JPMorgan Chase could introduce a pilot version of its robo-advisor service to some clients as early as March, according to a Reuters news report on Wednesday, with broader service available by mid-2018.

The company told Reuters that it planned to file required disclosures with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week and would begin testing the service this week by using a limited number of employee accounts.

It is calling the pilot program JPMorgan Digital Investing, according to Kelli Keough, head of digital wealth management, who spoke to the news organization.

Though the bank has not determined fees for its robo, it is set to offer the service to clients with less than $5,000, the news report said. “We are exploring and testing a variety of different pricing mechanisms,” Keough told Reuters. 

JPMorgan, which confirmed the content of the Reuters story on Friday, is working on its program with the fintech firm InvestCloud. The two firms announced the partnership in September 2016. 

The automated-investing service is part of the bank’s $300 million investment in asset management technology and automation, the Reuters report explains.

Rival Programs

Targeting younger investors, Morgan Stanley rolled out its online platform, Access Investing, in early December. At 0.35% of assets under management per year, the program fee comes in below the Merrill Edge Guided Investing robo service, which charges 0.45%, and Wells Fargo’s Intuitive Investor offering, which has a 0.50% fee.

(Discount brokerages Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard all charge less than Morgan Stanley for advisor-focused robo services: 0.28% for Schwab Intelligent Advisor, 0.30% for Vanguard Personal Advisor Services and 0.15% for Fidelity AMP. These fees don’t include expenses on the underlying funds.)

Like Merrill’s robo, Morgan Stanley’s has a $5,000 account minimum. The competing Wells Fargo service can be accessed with $10,000 or more of client assets.

Wells Fargo’s Intuitive Investor hybrid product combines digital access to strategies from the Wells Fargo Investment Institute with the option of also consulting by phone with advisors from its financial services division, Wells Fargo Advisors.

Wells Fargo’s robo offering, developed with SigFig, includes nine different portfolios, ranging from conservative income to aggressive growth, each consisting of eight to 14 ETFs and charging a typical fee of 15 basis points.

-- Bernice Napach contributed to this report.