Two weeks ago, I looked at the fundamental changes being driven by the emergence of consumer-focused technology on the wider world and the potential impact for our industry. It is only natural to follow that assessment with a look at the forthcoming offering from the IFA software provider that is by far the most advanced in this area – True Potential.
A few days ago, I was given the opportunity to look at the next iteration of its mobile applications. True Potential was the first organisation of its kind to put a client-facing app live on Apple’s app store and the next release, due to be available for both the iPhone and iPad, will push it even further ahead of its rivals.
As I have outlined in recent columns, firms preparing for business after the RDR are going to have to put in place different ways of dealing with some clients. In delivering its next-generation app, True Potential is ideally placed to support such changes, deliver-ing functionality for use by the adviser and the client in ways that can support remote and face-to-face advice.
The app gives adviser and client access to a range of services to support the advice process and these are integrated with the wider parts of the True Potential system.
These achieve a fusion of client management system, website and mobile devices which deliver a level of integration and automation that has the power to transform the relationship with the customer, vastly reducing time spent on previously manual processes. It exposes traditional working methods as the Dickensian legacy they are, freeing time to spend in discussions with clients and providing valuable analysis as the basis for such discussions.
Each has access to a number of key areas. Client documents allows for items such as copy of passport or birth certificate, or other important documents, to be stored on the system so clients can access them from anywhere in the world. These are captured by an ingenious use of mobile phone and the core True Potential system. No more asking clients to post you copies or taking them away to make copies.
The portfolio view shows a breakdown of wealth, categorised between investments, pensions, other assets, such as property, and liabilities. In each investment area, the user can drill down into more detail displaying underlying contracts and holdings.
This can be used to chart performance of different parts of the portfolio. This shows the value of each component and the overall total.
The asset allocation tool shows the breakdown of the client’s investments by asset type, although it does not yet drill down into individual areas.
Secure messaging is provided so client and adviser can exchange messages without the risks associated with traditional email and with an audit trail stored for TCF purposes.
When a client downloads the app, they can choose to enable push messaging so they are notified whenever a message has been sent by the adviser.
A basic fact-find can be loaded which can receive contract details so the adviser can generate transfer of servicing letters for the client from their main systems to send to the client for signature.
In addition to the functions available to the client from the contacts area, advisers can add new clients, search and select all clients, access theircontact details and open a map of the client’s address or ring the client.
All the functionality offered to the client can be seen by the adviser who can access the same functionality for all their clients. The app could be used to support remote advice with adviser and client looking at the same information which using hands-free devices to discuss the content.
Seeing what True Potential has built for the iPad confirms my view of the potential of the device as a platform for the delivery of financial advice.
It can be used to achieve a shared experience with the client, overcoming the frequent complaint of many advisers about traditional laptops of “I don’t want a computer between me and my client.”
For both remote and faceto-face sessions, the True Potential v2 app demonstrates how financial services can work in the future.
The version 1 True Potential is currently available for iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry. More information on this can be found at www. tpllp.com/ communication/ wp-content/uploads/ 2010/01/TP_Mobile-App-Communication.pdf.
Version 2, which will work with both iPhone and iPad, should be available from Apple’s app store in the next few weeks and will be developed for Android, followed by other platforms.
It is my current view that True Potential offers the most complete client management system and client-facing tools available to advisers today. This is based on the wide range of facilities offered for operating the adviser’s business and delivering an integrated customer website experience and the range of mobile applications.
Nothing else anyone has demonstrated to me currently offers the same breadth of options. With these latest deliveries, the system is providing a wide range of tools to help advisers work with clients in fresh and exciting ways which will complement the additional advice service. Having such services will put an adviser firm in a strong position to maximise their revenue after the RDR.
I am aware that several other organisations are working on similar services and I look forward to seeing them. True Potential has set the standard against which they can be measured.