Recorded during the recent Finsight Series virtual event that Pete Townsend moderated (hosted by Navirum and Salesforce), this episode features an all-star cast with Rory Galvin from Navirum, Bryan Clagett from Moven, Cory Haberkorn from Salesforce and Niall Twomey from Fenergo. The main theme we covered is this: The demand for digital financial services goes far beyond the domain of neobanks - how do we become truly digital upstream of consumer banking, especially in institutional banking and wealth management?
The first event in the Finsight Series focused on ‘Going Digital in Banking and Wealth Management’, held back in May 2021. In this session, we heard helpful insights from leaders and entrepreneurs working at the forefront of digital banking and fintech. Going digital is not easy despite advancements in technology, as complex regulation, trust in technology, and the need for human interaction remain obstacles and opportunities for financial services firms to innovate and grow in the digital era.
The Finsight Series is run by Navirum, a financial services consulting company specializing in helping businesses grow and operate more efficiently in the digital age.
Bryan Clagett on trust in the digital age of financial services:
“With the advent of this digital-first mindset that's occurring, trust is being redefined. I think trust is now increasingly determined by relevancy as a brand, i.e., are you relevant?”
Niall Twomey on what trust means in an institutional context:
“At the institutional level, trust is built on reputation, but it's also built on a bank or service provider’s ability to give your business the products and the services in a timeframe that meets your business needs.”
“The opportunity is gone if you don't do it in the right timeframe, and while the ability to deliver a digital experience supplements that, trust is built with speed.”
Cory Haberkorn on generational preferences in wealth management:
“Just because they’re a millennial doesn't necessarily mean that they just want to have a relationship through their smartphone and they don't ever expect any type of contact with an advisor. That is not true. They still want that access to a human, and when they really need you, they want an in-person meeting or a Zoom call when it's deemed necessary.”
Bryan Clagett on removing friction in financial services:
“The people that are really winning at this game understand that there's a ton of friction out there. Fundamentally, investing and managing your day-to-day finances are a chore and fundamentally, banking sucks, right? The ones that are making it suck less are the ones that are going to make it.”
Rory Galvin on where the digital runway tends to end in wealth management:
“The best wealth advisors are the ones that are educating their clients the whole time on every aspect of their estate. They take the time to sit down and go through everything and they're experts in their field. That allows them to build deeper levels of trust and understanding as to where their clients want to go, and it's still very hard to do that kind of coaching through technology.”
Niall Twomey on the importance of what’s underneath the hood:
“A lot of players provide a digital experience for their clients, but guess what? Unless your processes in the middle office and the back office are connected end to end, you're just exposing a really bad internal process to your customers. You’ve got the get that part right, or it’s just lipstick on the pig.”
Rory Galvin on delivering personalized experiences to different demographics:
“Not everyone works in technology, and a lot of people are working in traditional industries. They're trying to get their heads around their pensions and mortgages and apps can't solve all those problems. They need human beings, they need experts, they need educators to walk them through things. In the United States, for example, most of the wealth still sits with the boomer generation, and they’re the main customers right now.”
“We’re seeing a lot of process automation to allow things like client onboarding and the collation of documents to be a little bit easier, having that deeper understanding of the profile of the customer, pulling together information from all sources into a single view of the customer. Those are the things that are enabling advisors to deliver a more personalized experience."
Niall Twomey on how financial institutions can think differently about their technology:
“The ones who are really doing it right are treating their own technology as a product and offering their technology as a product to their end customers, i.e., banking as a service. They want to be a platform company more than just an institution, and they’re selling their technology to neobanks and other players. That’s super ambitious from the perspective of a financial institution, but it’s the right mindset.”
Bryan Clagett on what financial players need to be doing:
“You need to become a data-centric organization. Look at the data that's out there today and has been out there for years like card transactions and bill payments. There are organizations out there that’ll help you harness that data like Blip out of Philadelphia that looks at bill pay data and turns it into actionable insights. That's the kind of behavior we need and you can't move toward a 360-view of the customer without aggregating that data.”
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