Advice firms turn to tech to meet Covid-19 challenge

Technology

To overcome challenges brought on by Covid-19, advisory firms are making better use of the technologies available to maintain their client relationships and drive greater efficiency, according to new data released by Intelliflo and new research from its Covid-19 Impact Poll.

Between February and April 2020, logins to Intelliflo’s Personal Finance Portal, which allows advisers and clients to interact with each other via a secure online hub, increased more than three times (333 per cent) and the number of co-browsing sessions between advisers and clients via its integrated Glia app increased almost six-fold (589 per cent). In addition, Intelliflo’s digital signature functionality DocuSign experienced an uplift of 1189 per cent.

This trend is supported by research from Intelliflo’s new Covid-19 Impact poll of 534 employees from advisory firms across the UK1, which found that: exactly half (50 per cent) of those polled have been able to adopt more technology with their clients; two in five (42 per cent) have adopted technologies that will be permanently implemented; and a third (32 per cent) have adopted new technology that is already enabling them to become more efficient.
 
The research, which looks at the challenges and changes adviser firms face in light of the current crisis, also shows that despite the lack of face-to-face contact one in five respondents (22 per cent) have improved their communications with clients. This compares to only five per cent of respondents who said they have struggled to communicate.
 
When asked about what the ‘new normal’ will look like, more than two-thirds (68 per cent) expect to see less frequent face-to-face communications, suggesting that the current ways of working mark a turning point in the way advisers and clients interact. 
 
The second most anticipated change (59 per cent) was the greater efficiency brought on by the increased adoption of tech, indicating that the accelerated digitisation brought on by the current crisis gives firms some reason to be optimistic about the future. 
 
Nick Eatock, CEO at Intelliflo, says: “Building trusted relationships with clients is at the heart of the financial advice industry but this can be challenging to carry out face-to-face, not least during the current crisis. Ways of communicating are always evolving, and this data shows that the Covid-19 crisis has significantly accelerated the use of technology. There’s no doubt that this will shape the future for advisers and their clients and deliver greater efficiencies for both as a result.
  
To support advisers during the crisis, Intelliflo has also launched a new Coronavirus hub for advisers looking for new ways to adopt technology, as well as a range of tips and hints to help tackle the challenges ahead.
 
Eatock says: “By using some of this time to become more familiar with the technologies available to routinely interact with clients, advisers can become ever more agile and efficient.”
 
Intelliflo has also extended its offer of free Glia and DocuSign usage for customers till the end of August in order to ensure all customers can stay connected with their clients during these challenging times.