Mobile phones saving advisers as much as $2000 a year

Mobile phones saving advisers as much as $2000 a year

30 APR 2021

Clever use of mobile phones as a tool in the advice process can not only improve efficiency, but save Financial Advice Providers (FAPs) thousands of dollars every year.

Mobile phones saving advisers as much as $2000 a year

Record keeping obligations under the new financial advice regime mean advisers often need to collect, and safely store, more client data than ever before. These increased obligations inevitably mean higher compliance costs too.

However, two of the lesser-known aims of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 are actually to avoid unnecessary compliance costs and to promote innovation and flexibility in the financial markets. Mobile phones – or more specifically smartphones – can be a great tool to achieve just that.

With most New Zealanders owning a smartphone and 97 percent of the population listed as active social media users (Statista March 2021), it is likely most advisers will be using a smartphone too. They can harness the power of this technology to speed up the advice process, collect and transmit data, and gauge client satisfaction.

“We’re seeing many of our clients embracing the use of mobile phones, saving themselves three to 10 hours per week,” says Strategi Group executive director David Greenslade.

“If advisers valued their time at $200 plus GST per hour, then that equates to $600-$2000 per week,” he says. Below are some of the innovative ways David says mobile phones are being used in the advice process. These include:

  • recording client meetings/calls and saving them directly to the client’s electronic file. This avoids the need for handwritten or typed file notes.
  • dictating a statement of advice/recommendations and sending that to the client, avoiding the need for a typed advice document.
  • taking pictures of key client documents or handwritten meeting notes and uploading these to the client’s electronic file.
  • conducting a client meeting using a series of whiteboards or sheets of blank paper and then drawing explanatory pictures, listing key bullet points etc. At the end of the meeting, the mobile phone’s video function can be used to explain the drawings or bullet points, summarise the meeting, provide the recommendations and gain client verbal approval to proceed. The video is sent to the client and saved in the client’s electronic file. This becomes the statement of advice and is supported with a written summary of only one to three pages.
  • using texts to send meeting reminders and follow up clients on items they need to undertake.
  • getting clients to take pictures of key documents and send to the FAP. This saves clients having to mail originals, find a scanner etc.
  • general insurance advisers using their phones to video or photograph key assets that need insuring or have the clients do so and send on.
  • recording conversations with clients and then forwarding the recording to the personal assistant or administrator with action points.
  • recording file notes on the phone and then forwarding these to the personal assistant or administrator who uses voice recognition software to convert the recording into text.
  • sending quick surveys to clients to gauge satisfaction levels.
  • having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that includes a mobile app version. This enables advisers and support staff to record and retrieve client data on the go.
  • sending clients data collection forms that are mobile compatible. The client can then fill this out and forward back to the adviser by mobile. The data in the electronic form populates the CRM and also parts of the statement of advice.