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3 WealthTech Insights from the 2017 Schwab IMPACT Conference


Three things we learned about WealthTech at IMPACT 2017

This month the Agreement Express team attended the Charles Schwab Conference in Chicago, where we had the opportunity to connect with RIA’s, and industry thought leaders. During the event, we engaged in lively discussions, breakout sessions and keynotes presentations that focused on accelerating growth and make the most of out of digital technologies.

Over the three days, it became clear that in the battle of build or buy, a victor had emerged. The advice we heard repeatedly for RIAs looking to address their WealthTech needs was to invest in third-party solutions rather than building their own. However, when it comes to partnering with a technology vendor, we heard the following three key themes:

Data Security, Data Security, and more Data Security

It's no surprise that data security was top of mind at IMPACT; with the recent Equifax data breach barely in the rearview, firms are determined to safeguard their client relationships. During the conference, data security features such as two-factor authentication, password-protected access, and data encryption were emphasised. Speakers also reinforced conducting extensive data security review for any new products your firm might be looking at with a focus on client data isolation and robust internal security framework.

As a fintech provider ourselves we ensure secure hosting that is SOC 2 Type 2 certified. All of our data is transferred over HTTPS with Transport Layer Security (TLS) cryptographic protocols, and we offer multi-factor access protection.

Usability matters

In the age of apps, it might be tempting to assume that thoughtful UX Design (user experience design) is ubiquitous, but when it comes to enterprise technology, that isn’t always the case. The importance of usability was emphasized repeatedly at the event. Enterprise software too often presents users with crowded interfaces, non-intuitive workflows, and requires them to navigate through multiple screens which can lead to confusion and frustration. For firms to see a successful adoption of new technology, usability should be a significant factor in their technology evaluation framework.

Of course, no conversation about usability would be complete without emphasizing the importance of mobile. Millennial investors are becoming increasingly more prominent, and as their numbers grow so does the importance of providing an omnichannel experience to keep pace with their expectations.

Play in the sandbox

As custodians and WealthTech vendors continue to push the boundary of technology innovation the ability to produce the ideal, “one size fits all” solution that spans the value-chain remains unattainable. RIA’s have been vocal with their desire to choose the best solutions for their business, and they expect those solutions to work together with as little disruption as possible. Open architecture provides the most choice and flexibility, allowing RIAs to maximize the investment in the software they have already purchased, grown familiar with, and rely on every day. We expect to see this trend continue and for RIA’s to become even more vocal as they seek to upgrade legacy systems or digitize manual operations.

At Agreement Express we empower clients through an open API, allowing them to integrate with their CRM, system of record and as well as third party data validation providers so they can build robust digital strategies.

Is your firm interested in improve your client onboarding process? Check out our latest white paper, Build or Buy? Key Technology Considerations for Wealth Management.

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