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Who will be first with Skype service?

Advisers need to develop models which allow clients to transact face-to-face in an online environment, says Aifa.

Director Robert Sinclair says an online service such as Skype, which allows users to make phone calls over the internet, see the person they are talking to and send files, could be the way forward for online advice.

He said: “I am waiting for the first IFA to deliver a Skype-type of service to consumers because that is where we begin to see a total change in distribution. It would make the market totally different.”

Sinclair said he has already seen the mortgage market adapt to transacting online with increased use of screen shots and documents being exchanged electronically.

He said: “We are beginning to see this whole audit trail develop for the customer transacting online. We are seeing it first in the mortgage world but also see it developing in the investment world as well. A way of transacting face to face online would really begin to change how we do things and revolutionise the advice process.”

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