Mobile banking is expanding rapidly. Independent research and advisory firm Aite Group projects the number of U.S. consumers using a mobile device to access their bank account will increase to 96 million by 2016. Smartphone users will account for 96 percent of the total mobile banking population. By 2014, mobile banking usage is expected to have nearly doubled to about 64 million from just two years ago.
According to American Banker, the overall number of smartphone users in the United States is expected to increase to 174 million by 2016. Tablets are growing even faster, expected to increase to 100 million users by 2014 and 112 million by 2016. “The penetration of smartphones and tablets is absolutely huge, especially among consumers aged 45 to 50,” Ron Shevlin, a senior analyst at Aite Group, told American Banker.
Advances in technology have allowed consumers and financial advisors to utilize more mobile-based software. Consumers are using their smart phones and tablets for a myriad of financial services, including checking account balances, remote deposit, paying bills and receipt of account alerts. Another category that is starting to show signs of growth is the use of personal financial management (PFM). According to American Banker, “16 million people will use smartphones to categorize expenses in 2014 and 38 million by 2016. Budget management is expected to grow from about 6 million to 12 million in 2014 and 25 million in 2016. And use of smartphones for analysis of investment recommendations and ROI calculations is expected to expand from 7 million to 14 million in 2014 and 26 million in 2016.”
Now is a great time for independent financial advisors to fully embrace and use financial planning software in their practice. Doing so allows advisors to meet clients and prospects anywhere, including, the client’s home or the local coffee shop, even face time or video conferencing.
According to a report in Investment News (January 2013), 63 percent of all financial advisors now own a tablet, of which 84 percent of those are iPads. Tablets help provide vital financial presentation capabilities and enhance communication and collaboration between advisors and their clients. Mobile financial planning software provides advisors the opportunity to convert planning from a monthly basis into a continuous planning approach and gives them the information, tools and workflow necessary to discuss financial planning concepts with the client and present them in an understandable, meaningful way. It also allows for scenario planning on the spot. With mobile technology, advisors and clients can adjust goals, spending priorities, assets and other information to get results in real time. Advisors can also input trades while away from the office and be more effective in opening accounts. Secure cloud storage offers access to documents and reports that advisors run, save and retrieve from their mobile device. These reports can be shared with the client during meetings and, should the device be lost or stolen, advisors can rest easy knowing they have not compromised the client’s most sensitive information.
Mobile financial planning offers financial advisors many benefits, including providing the tools and information necessary to discuss financial planning concepts with the client and present them in a clear, meaningful way; helps simplify complex information and makes it more meaningful to the client; helps better demonstrate his or her value to the client; and provides quick, up-to-date access to client information, helping to build trust and confidence.
Financial advisors that use tablets and smartphones as part of their day-to-day business are ahead of the game in reaching potential clients and retaining clients. These devices are fast-becoming the primary channel for building loyalty among the emerging younger generation and sends the message to current clients that you are forward thinking and can embrace new ideas and technology. That’s priceless.