Digital assistants in client meetings

Would you use a digital assistant in a client meeting? I asked the question in a LinkedIn poll and got over 150 views but just 4 votes. Me and two close friends voted “yes” and one person voted “no”.

So, I still don’t know.

Finchat is currently going through the Amazon certification process for its third iteration of a financial planning digital assistant. It is designed for individuals who are unwilling or unable to engage a financial adviser which, according to Adviser Ratings is a sizeable group. They found only 12.2 % of the population used an adviser in 2019.

The assistant gathers client details and provides a financial needs analysis on all the major areas of financial planning, totally hands free if you choose. The user simply talks to their Echo device in a normal way. You can watch a short demonstration video here  – https://www.finchat.com.au/digital_assistant/

Would a financial adviser use an assistant and in a meeting? Research conducted by KPMG, commissioned, by the Financial Services Council found the average cost of providing comprehensive financial planning advice is $5335 per client, vastly exceeding the average cost charged to consumers of $3660. Each new client hastens their demise.

Unless.

If a digital assistant collected all the client’s information and did a preliminary needs analysis a lot of adviser time/costs could be saved. If the assistant then joined the meeting to do calculations and research, more time/cost would be saved. For example, the assistant could instantly show the effect of salary sacrifice on after tax income and retirement sufficeincy (as in our demonstration). The adviser could explain the benefits and implications then move onto the next issue and so on. If the meeting is recorded, you have a VSOA (Video Statement of Advice) with file notes packaged in. A huge saving for the adviser and a better advice instrument for the client.

Enlightened Financial Solutions chief executive, James Wortley, said the only way advice firms would be able to have scale and be efficient was through recording all meetings whether it be face-to-face or digitally as it would save time on file notes and was a form of evidence.

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