Bill Hortz's picture

[Technology is not all monolithic systems and end-to-end platforms with an all or nothing value proposition. Many FinTech companies realize that being modular and allowing advisors to be strategically selective in integrating pieces of technology is a major motivator for advisor progress.  AdvisorTech is being offered in ready-to-use pieces called APIs that can plug and play into many current advisor tech stacks and CRM systems. This FinTech value proposition can help advisor firms quickly develop the competitive capabilities needed without having to commit to an immediate, wide-scale operational change that can seem daunting.

This tech flexibility is truly exciting and extremely timely as more tools and capabilities that previously only existed in the realm of major technology and client engagement experts - like FaceBook, Amazon, and Netflix - are now becoming readily available to smaller firms in all industries. The financial services industry is now being armed with tech resources to be on a level playing field with other firms competing for their clients’ attention.

To explore this further, we reached out to Institute member Kevin McNee, Director of North American Sales, of ABAKA – a London-based AI-driven Financial Wellness platform under their trademark flag of Artificial Financial Intelligence™ . We wanted to do a deep dive interview to see how they purposely designed their end-to-end technology platform to also provide tech applications that can strategically jump-start advisor technology to meaningfully engage clients towards a more secure financial future.]

 

Hortz: How does offering Advisor technology in smaller API bites help advisor firms make progress and enable manageable change for their organization?

McNee: The beauty of Plug and Play offerings is they require little technical know-how, are available at minimal cost, and offer rapid deployment. As quickly as it is up and running, advisors can just as quickly digitally engage with their clients and generate immediate results. This type of deployment allows for rapid innovation and ongoing business iterations to maximize opportunities.

Often, advisors don’t want to upset the current operational apple cart, so this allows them to simply take a bite of the apple and see how it tastes and functions. If they feel this can be beneficial, then we can continue delivering the technology through the APIs.

Hortz: What API tech offerings do you provide and what specific solutions do they represent for advisors?

McNee: The current API offerings we are actively offering and engaging with advisors are:

Conversational AI Chatbot- a 24/7 virtual assistant that can handle many tasks digitally with the ability to integrate with CRM and omnichannel deployment.

Next Best Actions a/k/a Intelligent Nudges- this engagement tool is most effective when integrated with an advisor’s CRM where it employs AI and machine learning to generate hyper-personalized advice and guidance. The technology creates personas that are then leveraged to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. This can be anything from establishing goals, making contributions, and recommending a product or service solution.

Hortz: What kind of applications and results can advisors expect from conversational AI chatbots?

McNee: The applications are many – anywhere from lead generation, digital transactions, fact-finding, account opening, KYC/AML, scheduling, goal setting, and the list goes on.

Some of the practical results that have been reported on clients using Conversational AI include:

  • 90% of users regularly use the Chabot for their App interactions (across all ages & income)
  • 8 minutes is the average session time on chatbot which leads to a 75% reduction in call times (by automating the capture of information)
  • 26% of chatbot users complete the advice conversation and receive the corresponding product or service recommendation
  • Increased traffic lead conversion from 2% to 10% (and collects leads of higher quality)

Hortz: What applications and results can advisors expect from your Next Best Action & Intelligent Nudges?

McNee: Again, the applications are many – from executing focused engagement campaigns geared for specific personas delivered at the right time through the right channel to also activating a prospect or client to take the “next best action” on their particular journey which may include setting up an account, starting or increasing contributions, adding/buying a financial service.

Some of the practical results reported on using Next Best Action/Intelligent Nudges include:

  • Increase engagement by 500% (measured by #sessions per user)
  • Increase NPS (Net Promoter Score) by 38%
  • Increase product/service conversion from 3% to 31% on focused campaigns vs. traditional generic marketing and educational campaigns.

Hortz: How exactly do you integrate these API tech pieces into an advisor tech stack? What kind of time and technical knowledge is required?

McNee: The Plug and Play solutions are quite simple…With our Conversational AI, it is a simple javascript delivery. Our Next Best Action/Intelligent Nudges are integrated through the advisor’s CRM provider. For example, on Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, it is now an app in their store.

Hortz: What feedback are you getting in your discussions with advisors on these tools?

McNee: Advisors love it because it is leveraging technology to deliver a personalized guided client experience at scale. They require minimal human involvement yet are specialized to their individual clients.

Hortz: Any other thoughts or recommendations you would like to share with advisors?

McNee: Both Conversational AI and Next Best Action/Intelligent Nudges are easy to use and employ technologies that are proven means to increase meaningful engagement, scale-up financial advice capabilities, and help drive positive outcomes for clients.

These tools will rapidly become a next-generation client engagement standard for most industries and businesses. We are committed to being able to provide these technologies to advisors to help them meet the ongoing competitive challenges to the industry.

We invite advisors to learn more about us and our many applications and solutions to different areas in the industry including retirement, workplace financial wellness, wealth management, mortgage, and banking.

 

The Institute for Innovation Development is an educational and business development catalyst for growth-oriented financial advisors and financial services firms determined to lead their businesses in an operating environment of accelerating business and cultural change. We position our members with the necessary ongoing innovation resources and best practices to drive and facilitate their next-generation growth, differentiation, and unique client/community engagement strategies.

The institute was launched with the support and foresight of our founding sponsors - Pershing, NASDAQ, Ultimus Fund Solutions, Fidelity, Voya Financial, and Charter Financial Publishing (publisher of Financial Advisor and Private Wealth magazines). For more information click here.

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