Tech will drive advice forward, if roadblocks are removed

By Heather Hopkins | 02 May 2022 | 3 minute read

Our latest NextWealth Adviser Tech Stack report (March 2022), focusing on tech enabled advice, highlights how tech is helping to drive financial advice but there is still a way to go for financial advice professionals to maximise the opportunities it offers…and for tech providers to deliver products that dovetail into adviser tech stacks.

Overall, the report identifies that what advisers and tech providers want are the same but currently there are huge disconnects to achieving this. There are five key reasons for this:

  1. Tech holds the key to revolutionise how financial advisers operate but lack of plug and play tech is hindering progress.
  2. Tech providers over-complicate the user experience. They promise nirvana but it takes too much time for advisers to adopt what’s on offer.
  3. Advisers lack tech literacy to navigate the systems effectively and the tech they do use is significantly under-utilised.
  4. Advisers rightly focus on providing personal service but many fail to see the opportunities that tech literacy can open up for them and their clients. This lack of vision could make them vulnerable to challengers who enter the market with strong consumer-led propositions and tech in their DNA.
  5. All sectors of the financial services industry need to cooperate and work together to deliver a satisfactory consumer experience for people with varying levels of assets and needs. Data is key – it needs to be shared widely, securely and all providers must take responsibility.

Our regular Tech Stack reports highlight how every stage of financial planning has been shifting from manual processing to tech enabled practices, with new tools and technology constantly being launched that promise to deliver greater efficiency and more effective insights.

However, much of this new tech requires users to be tech literate and most financial advisers are not. For some, this will be solved by employing specialist IT support – only one in five financial advice firms we surveyed for our latest report has an employee dedicated to IT. Bringing IT skills into an advisory firm is crucial for the right sort of decisions be made about product purchasing.

Staff mix by size of firm: One in five financial advice firms has an employee dedicated to IT

Our interviews with 18 tech providers highlighted there is no shortage of innovation but providers need to better understand the issues faced by advisers and to focus on developing systems that are intuitive and easy to use.

Until this happens – and vital data is accessible for all, the dream of fully integrated, tech-enabled advice that makes the most of humans and robots will remain just that, a dream.

The full report is available to purchase or free to financial advisers on NextWealth’s Research Panel. Details are available here.

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