What financial advisers can learn from Uber

by | Oct 4, 2016 | Blog, Featured |

Despite rapid growth, many financial professionals are falling behind when it comes to implementing cloud-based practices, according to industry research.

The concept behind Uber seems like something anyone could have come up with – tap a button and get a ride. However, the simplistic idea of using technology to augment an existing service came to Uber founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2008 when they had trouble hailing a taxi.

Eight years later, Uber has completely transformed the transportation and digital landscape, leaving the Taxi industry licking its wounds wondering what happened. Uber is reportedly worth over 50 billion dollars, with roughly 1.5 million cars on the roads (as of January 2016).

But the Uber story is not unique. No industry has been immune from the disruption caused by technology. The financial sector has been particularly hit – a new sector has even immerged due to the influence that technology has played – Fintech. It’s the new kid on the block and banks and traditional practices are fast waking up to the sizable chunk it’s taking out of the market share.

There are countless start-ups on the scene offering every financial service available – including accountancy and financial planning.

Despite rapid growth, many financial professionals are falling behind when it comes to implementing cloud-based practices, according to industry research.

Sound familiar? It eerily resembles the Taxi and Uber example. An industry not embracing innovation and being left behind.

Many financial advisers have simply ignored the potential for technology to enhance their firms.  This is surprising considering the obvious benefits to financial professionals.

• Access to up-to-date data, allowing them to give a better standard of advice
• Improved work flow
• Cost effectiveness

Data mining is especially important as it makes it more likely that advisers will provide the right solution to their clients.

The benefits of cloud accounting are supported by a PWC report that suggests that high net worth clients are taking to technology faster when it comes to managing their finances. This doesn’t mean people are flocking to robo-advisers either.

People still want accountants and financial planners to handle their finances. However, they are demanding to interact with their financial advisers, and with their finances, in a new way – in other words, with technology.

It is for this reason that we will see an increasing blend between automation and human services into the future. It’s the best business model for financial professionals and for their clients, particularly the demographic that will play a heavy influence on the industry in the years to come – millennials.

They are the huge part of the population who reached adulthood around the turn of the century. You might not think they matter a great deal in the financial sector, but this group stands to inherit $30 trillion dollars. That’s a 3 followed by 12 0s. And according to a survey, only 29 percent have consulted a financial professional for advice. That’s, as the youngins would say, an ‘OMG’ moment.

For financial advisers to stay viable and relevant into the future they need to engage with this group of people. It seems the best way to do that is with technology.

If we’ve learned anything from Uber, it’s that the augmentation of an existing service with technology can drastically improve an industry for both clients and practitioners. If financial advisers are unable to embrace technology, they will be an unfortunate casualty, much like the taxi.