Closing the United Kingdom’s Financial Advisory Gap – Fintuity Develops the Virtual Adviser & Smart Marketplace
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only wrought a terrible human cost but has caused devastation across the global markets.
With no end in sight, many are re-evaluating both their family and personal priorities as well as the way in which they engage services and products.
As we explored in an earlier blog piece, Fintuity as the only digital IFA in the United Kingdom has seen a major uptake in demand for our online financial advisory services and as such we see the technical development of our IFA platform as the core of our mission statement to deliver below market priced IFA services on demand to millions of UK consumers.
The Virtual Adviser and the Smart Marketplace are designed to drive technical efficiencies across the sector and to close the growing advice gap in the UK.
Defining the Advice Gap – Developing Cutting Edge AI Driven Technology to Make Financial Advisory Accessible
As many families, individuals and businesses struggle to adapt to an increasingly difficult financial climate, the need for the right advice is crucial – with some 10 million plus furloughed workers, struggling SME’s and with the Manufacturing PMI seeing the most severe contraction ever in recent months – the short-medium term economic outlook is bleak; pension holders, individuals & investors are increasingly looking for ways to safeguard their assets.
The well-established, yet traditional Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) sector is critically important to the financial wellbeing of the UK as it imparts essential support and advice to help protect both individual & family finances. In fact IFA’s often develop a long term relationship with their clients and provide sage advice in a number of areas including pensions, savings, insurances and wealth management.
According to the FCA, some 6 million people use IFA services each year, however, the industry remains technologically poor, lacks automation and with increasing operational costs & low profit-margins – higher service fees are often passed to the customer.
With an estimated, 13 million consumers across the United Kingdom –levels of wealth and asset portfolios differ, the problem of accessing compliant advice however remains a growing concern amongst many in government and industry. In short there remains a significant gap between those seeking expert IFA advice and those who are currently receiving the desired expertise.
As demand for IFA support rockets in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic – accessing the right advice should be accessible to all and in short technology is the answer.
Introducing the Virtual Adviser – The Platform to Make Financial Advice Accessible
As a unique member of the UK’s IFA community, Fintuity is already delivering daily financial advice many of those seeking to evaluate, consolidate or adapt their financial products.
Whilst we already harness technology in the shape of our website, automated fact find, KYC, document exchange and secure meeting facilities we are currently lacking the capacity to process more customers per day in line with our goal of providing affordable IFA access.
This is where the Virtual Adviser comes to the fore.
The platform is currently in development and our proprietary platform will allow even more consumers the chance to access the support that they need, on demand and when required. As an additional benefit users will be able to book a complimentary meeting with a human adviser.
The Virtual Adviser is designed specifically to close the financial advice gap by further automating the client data, aims and targets, risk attitude and financial behavioural profiling that enables the Virtual Adviser to analyse complex data-sets and to automatically suggest a range of AI driven solutions.
The prospective client will then be presented with a fully bespoke financial report and a number of matched solutions that they can then accept or decline – once accepted the customer will be diverted to a human IFA who will further explore the options open to them. The whole process is also free of charge, secure FCA compliant!
Work is already well underway on the Virtual Adviser and it is a natural next step in our technical development and once completed will provide users not only free of charge and regulated advice but match clients with the right products in minutes.
The Virtual Adviser will allow Fintuity to process clients at a five-fold rate to our current onboarding process and will help to close the advice gap at a time when accessing the right advice is crucial.
The Technology Behind the Virtual Adviser – Creating a Tech Driven Ecosystem
Whilst the aim of the platform is to close the advice gap and deliver advice to ever increasing numbers of users, the technology involved is truly cutting edge.
With an expanding in-house team of UK based developers, Fintuity is harnessing leading process engineering in Machine Learning to ensure that the AI driven platform delivers the right advice.
What makes the Virtual Adviser unique is that it goes beyond the current state of the art by offering intelligent solutions that provided by the current range of robot-advisers.
Robo-advisers currently form the only comparable technology to the VA in the market but are limited to investments and do not offer bespoke advisory-the VA will use cutting edge AI to fully tailor advisory to the customer.
In a spirit of community collaboration, Fintuity will be working with academia and other key stakeholders to deliver the Virtual Adviser to ensure that a maximum number of users can enjoy timely financial advice.
The Smart Marketplace – Linking Millions with the Right Products
Whilst the Virtual Adviser will provide AI driven expert advice and ultimately will aim to serve as a platform to service a far greater number of clients, the Smart Marketplace simply provides the solutions and products required to execute the advice given.
The Smart Marketplace is a digital platform that links the user with tailored and bespoke offers from the leading mortgage, insurance, investment and pensions providers into one place and unlike standard online comparison sites, the platform tailors the offerings based on the client risk profile.
The platform will list all suitable products and with a transparent fee structure, allow for a seamless and secure on-boarding process.
In short the Smart Marketplace provides a fully AI driven and bespoke product placement platform that can match the user with tailored product offerings that match their risk profiling.
Fintuity set out to disrupt the IFA industry by closing the advice gap and harnessing technology to deliver compliant advice to millions of UK consumers – the Virtual Adviser and Smart Marketplace will seek to do just that.