What You Need to Know
- Vanguard's enhanced mobile app for retail investors may come as soon as a few weeks.
- Enhanced features will include a fingerprint login option for the Android version.
- A beta version of the new app is called Beacon and is being tested by clients ahead of the launch.
Vanguard is developing a new, enhanced version of its investor mobile app for Android and iOS devices and will be “rolling it out over the coming months,” a company spokesperson told ThinkAdvisor on Monday, noting a specific launch date was not available yet.
The new app’s website, however, says the app will be introduced “in a few short weeks.”
The company’s current app, known simply as the Vanguard mobile app, launched in 2010 and provides features that allow the company’s retail clients to make trades, manage their accounts, and adjust their asset mixes, along with detailed performance and holding information. The app also provides personal return, activity and balance details.
But “to continue to innovate and improve our clients’ experience, we decided to launch a new app to replace the legacy option,” the spokesperson said. “The new mobile app has been thoughtfully built using client feedback and human-centered design to enhance functionality and provide a modern, intuitive user experience.”
Because the new app is “being designed with our clients’ needs in mind,” Vanguard has “prioritized the most frequently used features,” he said. “Clients can easily scan all of their accounts on the portfolio homepage, and we’ve streamlined all transaction flows to make it easier to manage accounts. Over time, new features will be introduced.”
Although Vanguard did not formally announce the new app, “as part of the test and learn development process, we released a beta version of the app last year” that Vanguard clients can download now “to explore it,” he added.
The beta version of the new app is called Beacon “as a way to differentiate it from the current app,” he told ThinkAdvisor. However, “once it replaces the current app, the Beacon name will be dropped and the lone app will continue to be called the Vanguard mobile app,” he said.
In response to a tweet on Sunday that complained the company needed to “improve the app experience,” Vanguard tweeted on Monday: “We’re working on a new app now and you can be a part of the testing process,” with a link to the new app’s website.
The beta Beacon app is a “fully secure, working app that enables you to view your accounts, track performance and perform some transactions,” Vanguard says at the website. “When Beacon beta is no longer supported, you can update the current Vanguard app to access the features you enjoyed in the test version.”