Digital transformation is everywhere. Many financial firms are redefining or implementing entirely new digital strategies to scale their business and market their services to a broader array of clients. Financial advising, particularly retirement plan advising, has been slow to catch up. Firms with existing, integrated digital strategies are raising the standard for competitors and gaining market share. Digital efforts are accelerating across the board and will force more firms to address technology gaps in their approaches to both advising and marketing as a way to increase productivity.
While back office tools have made it possible for advisors to manage administrative tasks more easily, relatively few client-facing technology solutions exist; almost none specifically for retirement plan advising. Even when consumers make the effort to seek out personal finance technology on their own, many solutions only offer a single tool to address a specific problem, such as creating a budget or refinancing student loan debt.
Another way to think of digital transformation is this: using technology to automate processes, simplify workload, and reach more people. Financial wellness technology plays a key role as part of a total digital transformation strategy for advisors in retirement planning and wealth management because it scalably helps people change their financial behaviors and adequately save for retirement. No matter the business model, advisors can use financial wellness technology to more effectively engage people at every touch point in the customer experience lifecycle.
Consumer demand for a digital experience that puts them at the center of a comprehensive financial planning process is only going to increase. Simply automating archaic approaches just won’t cut it going forward. Both retirement plan participants and wealth management clients want to have the ability to see their total financial picture as well as a path to retirement—and talk to someone about it.
Comprehensive, integrated financial wellness technology offers an opportunity for plan advisors to do well by doing good. By offering convenient, easy-to-use personal finance tools to plan participants, combined with a scalable management platform for advisors, advisory and financial services firms can improve outcomes for retirement plan participants while retaining and even growing their business. After all, in an industry paid on basis points, it is directly in the best interest of advisors to do whatever they can to improve participants’ financial health in the short term; thereby fueling increased 401k contributions over the long term. As part of a digital transformation strategy, a comprehensive financial wellness platform can help any retirement advising firm scale their business while still providing a personalized customer experience.
The competitive advantages a comprehensive financial technology solution provides include more opportunities for current revenue generation as well as positioning for long term success with next-generation clients and with succession planning. Thoughtful planning is needed, however, to manage the challenges that digital transformation poses. Our next blog post takes a deeper dive to define what digital transformation is and isn’t.