Simple innovation the future of products

14-Jul-2015

By Kristen Crawford

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Innovation in the wealth management sector should resemble simplified products and processes in order to satisfy the advice client of the future, according to Stockspot chief executive Chris Brycki.

Speaking at the “Exceeding Expectations of Tomorrow’s Wealth Management Customers” roundtable earlier this month, Brycki compared the wealth management space to other industries undergoing transformation in the innovation space.

“In other industries where there has been significant innovation it has not been around more bells and whistles, it has been about simplifying products and just making them intuitive and improving the customer experience,” he said.

“I do not think banks, at least in Australia, have nailed the user experience side.”

Meanwhile, he drew on Airbnb and Uber as examples of innovative disruptors in other industries, pointing to it not being about a product with a lot of features.

“[It’s about] a simple product that just makes the journey so much easier for the consumer,” he said.

A lot of wealth management products had become complex and that suited the industry, but did not necessarily suit the end consumer, he said.

“When we designed our [robo-advice] product it was about looking at what consumers need and then stripping away all of the complexity that is not needed,” he added.

“From a user experience perspective, we focused on making it simpler. That is something that will define us.

“There are still very few simple wealth management services that are focused on the end user and that is an opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Rice Warner head of digital Ashley Priest said the shortening of supply chains was where disruptors usually tended to focus.

Advisers were unfortunately in the space of the “robo-concept” or algorithm-based decision-making process, Priest said.

“Simplification is about reducing the cost of a supply chain, making an easier distribution of product.”

Further, Colonial First State head of customer marketing Todd Stevenson said in some ways wealth managers actually had an advantage over the banks, especially when it came to superannuation.

“Part of the challenges for banks is the ability to get to market quickly,” Stevenson said.

“We need to innovate not only on the experiences, products or solutions, but also around how we deliver to the market.

“However, the advantage that we have is to provide visibility of superannuation and the ability for customers to manage their superannuation in the context of their other money, which was something our research had shown people are wanting.”

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