Strategy

BREAKFAST BRIEFING: Measuring The Impact Of Technology On Wealth Management

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 28 November 2013

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Wealth management industry professionals recently gathered in London to discuss how to deal with the impact of modern technology on the sector, particularly at a time when regulatory costs and challenges continue to mount.

Wealth management industry professionals recently gathered in London to
discuss how to deal with the impact of modern technology on the sector,
particularly at a time when regulatory costs and challenges continue to mount.

Under the title, Mobile Demand
And Regulatory Change - Are You Riding The Modernisation Wave?
the event,
which was held at the Carlton Club in London’s St James’s district, examined
how the sector is continuing to embrace the digital age. Speakers were Nigel
Tranter, who is chief architect of Europe retail and business banking at
Barclays Bank; Veronique Ummels, vice president, strategy and development for
private banking international, ABN AMRO; David Poole, head of Citi Private
Bank, UK & Ireland, Shaun Crowley, UK sales director, Objectway Financial
Softwareand, and Cath Tillotson, who is managing partner, Scorpio Partnership.
The panel was chaired by Stephen Harris, publisher of this website. Objectway
sponsored the event. (To view full details of speakers, click here.)

Barclays’ Tranter looked at his company's recent
achievements and goals in terms of digital strategy for the European retail
mass-affluent customer. His central message was that the digital strategy is
helping relationship managers better meet customer expectations and ambitions.

"We started our digital strategy for Europe 12 months
ago as a solid project. Investment is one key path for us and we set up with a
real simple vision so the vision was - the customer. In retail we had a
mass-market and a small mass-affluent segment in Europe and we are now moving
towards broadening and growing our retail mass-affluent customer segment.
That's the target area for us. As a bank in Europe, we're building on our brand
and using our digital strategy to continue to do this. We are seen as a niche,
so that's the direction we're heading...focusing on the more mass-affluent
customer – contrasting with our Wealth & Investment Management business,
where the focus in on high-net and ultra high-net worth clients globally," he
said.

Tranter said his bank's mass-affluent customers in Europe
demand "superior service and flexibility around multi-channel offerings.
Our mass-affluent customers are very tech-savvy and very mobile. They want
customer service that comes to them. We have to target our offerings and
technology at that".

He listed Barclays 'success factors' as "removal of
paper and straight-through processing".

Looking at the digital landscape in Europe amongst Barclays'
competitors, he noted: "One Spanish bank had a video service capability
online which increased their product sales by 25 per cent almost overnight.
Another in Portugal launched an innovative asset management trading platform
that was an immediate success. One bank in France had a personalised digital
assistant that appears to help you on any customer journey you want".

"In terms of digital strategy for the customer, this is
a revamping of our online channels. It entailed a complete re-branding, with a
partner, in Europe," he said.

“We've developed a true multi-channel strategy where we can
start and stop a customer interaction in any channel and the context of that
conversation will flow between channels. So whether they're coming through the
self-service, whether it's through a tablet, whether it's through a smart
phone...you could actually go into a branch and have a one-to-one with the
relationship manager (RM). The context moves, so it's really and truly multi-channel,”
he added.

He was enthusiastic about the application of surveillance
techniques to ordinary banking: "In Wealth & Investment Management, we
use biometric signatures and enrol customers when they call in. All of this happens in the background in a
non-obtrusive way and from a customer standpoint, is simply a conversation
between them and their RM. We only
require between 40-60 seconds of customer speech to complete the enrolment."

"Next time a call comes in, it automatically recognises
the biometric voice and who the customer is. So there is no IVR (interactive
voice response)– it just goes straight to the conversation with the customer.
And we've driven those kind of validations and authentications with our
security teams to make sure that we don't breach any compliance or regulatory
requirements that we have to be very mindful of. The journey for the customer
is a very easy interaction," he added.

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