The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

FPA encourages financial planners to explore fintech solutions that improve client engagement, drive cost reduction and boost operational efficiency

A new Fintech report from the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), entitled ‘Mapping Fintech to the Financial Planning Process: Why Fintech is not a Threat’, proposes that through the appropriate adoption of fintech, financial planners can achieve greater revenue generation, reduce client costs, and serve more clients with differing levels of advice needs and engagement requirements.

The FPA’s Fintech report and matrix is the only one of its kind that specifically plots and matches fintech solutions to the financial planning advice process.

In this report – which is the first in a series of fintech-related projects the FPA will be undertaking – it outlines that financial technology, or “fintech,” has potential to enhance the client experience and create efficiencies in client management systems.

The report examines the adoption of fintech solutions in the delivery of the six-step financial planning process: defining the scope of engagement, identifying goals, financial situation assessment, financial plan preparation, implementation and review. Then it maps fintech solution providers to the planning process, to demonstrate where technology can assist specific parts of a financial planning business.

“The modern client, through using technology as part of everyday life, has shifted their expectations. When it comes to financial planning, they desire easier and more efficient interactions.”

For the modern professional financial planner, they must now consider “how to engage with an increasingly digital client”, while delivering “efficiencies in operational processes in a manner that is cognisant of the financial planning process”.

Dante De Gori CFP®, CEO of the FPA, believes financial planners should start looking at how fintech can help them innovate their services and enhance the process of advice delivery to transform their business. “Fintech tools have been available to financial planners for some time, but to a degree, have been ignored,” he said. “This is due to a combination of factors including confusion about the fintech landscape, and the speed of change in technology.

“However, human led and digitally powered, fintech presents a real opportunity for our profession. Until now, what has been lacking is a thorough understanding of the solutions on offer to planners, Australian Financial Services Licensees, associations and regulators, in terms of how they work, and whether or not these solutions can deliver on their promises.

“The research undertaken, and findings presented in this report cut through this and present key information on which fintechs can help FPA members to make their businesses more efficient, more engaging and more sustainable in an environment of increasing costs and regulatory obligations,” said Mr De Gori.

“It quantifies the costs and benefits, and showcases fintech tools that have been approved for use within advice networks.

“While some may see fintech as a threat, we believe it presents financial planners with an exceptional technological opportunity to engage clients in new ways, and achieve significant operational efficiencies when workflow processes are housed and automated within a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system,” he added.

Four reasons why an appropriate fintech solution embedded into and complementing the financial planning process makes sense:

  1. Creating efficiencies in the financial planning process can allow a financial planner to reduce their costs, which will mean more Australians are able to access and afford financial planning advice;
  2. Creating efficiencies can allow a financial planner to spend more time engaging with existing clients;
  3. Transforming business processes allows for true scale to be built around marketing, engagement and implementation. This means that a financial planner’s time can be predominantly spent in front of clients playing the pivotal role of educator and behaviour change consultant; and
  4. Communication structures and processes that provide for illustrating the value and relevance of financial planning allows greater reach and conversion of more people toward a financial planning relationship.

The FPA encourages FPA members to review the fintech solutions featured in the report, to better understand how the latest technology can fit into their existing businesses processes, enhance client engagement, and deliver enhanced value to current and future clients.

The full report is available here.