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Automation, the next step for financial advisers

Whilst Covid-19 has ratcheted up the use of technology in financial planning businesses, Joe Norburn, CEO of Recordsure, argues that now is the time for firms to integrate innovative solutions to ensure future success

Kodak invented the world’s first digital camera, then they killed it, in order to preserve the lucrative business model of selling film to photographers. The inventors of the next generation technology refused to accept change and prioritise innovation. In 2012, the once market leader filed for bankruptcy, having lost millions in potential revenue from not patenting the technology. No industry is exempt from innovation and change. The ones which predict and react with the times are the ones who succeed in business.

The financial services sector is no different. Automation is your digital camera. It’s the next step in the evolution of the industry, it’s due to add £385 billion to the financial sector. Instead of fearing the change brought on by it, independent financial advisers must utilise it, invest in it, and integrate it into their operations.

Regtech adoption is being accelerated as a result of the Covid-19 challenges of remote working, and limited interactions. However, with every closed office door new ones are opening and opportunities to manage and track interactions better and smarter are becoming clearer and easier to utilise than ever before.

Automation: where does it thrive?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a tool to speed up tedious, repetitive tasks, such as administration tasks and form completion. It performs a series of predictive tasks that are programmed to act in a set order in response to a certain situation. It works best when faced with formulaic patterns that it can decipher and understand. Danske Bank recently shared their RPA innovations to a Deloitte Finance Agenda. They have developed a robot that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transfer data collected during an onboarding meeting to fill out customer account forms, speeding up the process dramatically and saving Danske a large sum of money.

Automation is a tool that expert IFAs can use to deliver a more complete offering in less time, sometimes with human-level accuracy, all while ensuring compliance. It will always require a human to deliver the valuable client care and service that IFAs are renowned for, however, automation combines with the adviser to create processes that use both their strengths well. Instead of a highly-skilled adviser and their team completing administration processes, they can use the automation to do this, getting the best out of the human to deliver value to the client.

Another main draw of automation is the reduced operating costs for businesses that implement autonomous solutions. Implementing AI can create a cost saving of up to 30-50%, allowing the business to either pass this saving onto clients or work more profitably. In addition to the cost draw, when scaled up to hundreds of clients with thousands of conversations, autonomous processes can deliver consistent, high-quality reports that serve to enhance the reputation of the firm as a whole.

Auto-transcription tools

The financial services industry has seen the development of many types of automation such as RPA and Enterprise Resource Planning systems, however, none have been more impactful than auto-transcription software. The industry has experienced diverse use cases for automation, such as client service, trade settlement procedures, and compliance.

More visible records can help IFAs work much quicker, many have seen a time saving of more than 14 hours a week thanks to this innovative solution. They have also reported huge cost savings, which is unsurprising in such a valuable industry where the average salary is in the UK is £93,000, making the hourly wage for expert advisers over £46p/h.

Clarity and transparency are incredibly valuable to the financial services industry, with some auto-transcription software advisers are able to add metadata, which helps identify and procure exact data which help speed up processes like refuting complaints and backing up adviser behaviour. In some cases, advanced AI can be used to extract specific data from conversations which optimises the search and retrieval process even further.

Advisers can utilise some of the most advanced tools on the market to verify information that they need to ensure is 100% correct, as the software keeps a record of every word spoken. For IFAs, this is vital to ensure they don’t have to return to conversations and can move forward with accurate recommendations.

If IFAs wish to reach the next level and unlock future opportunities, they must integrate innovative solutions and not let them pass by. They must optimise operational efficiencies and use automation to manage repetitive processes. IFAs can’t let automation gather dust like Kodak. They must use them and change the game.

About Joe Norburn

Joe Norburn joined Recordsure as CEO in 2018 having been a friend and supporter of the company for a number of years. Much of Joe’s career has been spent in financial services, either for banks directly or in companies that serve and partner with them. He has also acted as an advisor to a number of early and growth-stage companies.

Prior to that, he was Managing Director and a member of the Executive Committee at Coutts, where his responsibilities covered Digital, Innovation, Business Development, Client Experience and Learning & Development.

 

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