Is your job Online or On the Line?

How to leverage tech muscle


Why did online banking fail? Confused? Remember 20/20? Why would people take their hard-earned cash and bank it online? It was before its time. No branches, no people and no relationships. Who knew what was behind the online façade. It was doomed and unfortunately it failed. It was backed by a then reputable financial services company. When it comes to people and their money it is accepted that they want something tangible. Clients want bricks and mortar, real people and have real relationships.

If this is true then when last did you go into your branch or meet someone from your bank?

Chances are like many banked South Africans you interact with your bank via technology at ATM’S or Online. That’s right online! Through online options banks have been able to close branches as they’ve moved servicing work they use to do to you. Most gladly do to it for the convenience and control it gives Why was the initial success rate of online retailors better if they had a physical store?

Because as people started embracing retail technology they took more comfort in a tangible store network supporting the tech. This is slowly becoming less of an issue. It is hard though to imagine a world of only tech and no touch. As someone in Financial Technology for the past six years before it was sexy and called “Fintech” I often hear about how technology is a threat to jobs. I disagree. Wagon wheel makers are not that popular these days but the tyre industry and mag rim industry is huge.

Technology must not be looked at as a threat to your career and repelled at all cost in a winner-takes-all battle. Accounting software packages did not put accountants out of work. It may have put some bookkeepers out of work and they had to retool. What technology did do was to allow Accountants to use the information in far better ways for modelling, forecasting and planning. The birth on new analytical roles emerged.

Don’t fear or resist technology: rather understand the functions it can perform in your industry. This is time freed up to grow yourself and your business. That is how the next level of client innovation will happen. People with a natural growth mindset constantly strive to fulfill their potential and will be the beneficiaries of the time technology provides by reducing many mundane tasks that consumed their days.

Those that resist or deny the change technology can bring to will unfortunately become obsolete. Don’t believe me? Imagine a new bank that is big on personal service and relationships. That had an extensive branch network but had no ATM’s and no Online option. Would you join?

The financial planning industry is currently going through a crisis of either embracing or resisting technology. Some say it’s a personal service industry and they are correct. There are many things you can do online but as your needs become more sophisticated you will have needs which technology will battle to fulfill. Like private banking where clients use online and a personal banker.

Tech and touch! They might not even meet the banker physically to resolve their issue or go into a branch. This is financial services on demand. More people in industry including the Financial Advice industry need to realise their job is not under threat it’s just changing and technology is going to be the tool that grows them and their business.

This is why at Wealthport we have put all our effort into developing software for the financial advisor space. We focus on the client user experience, reducing costs and on demand capabilities. It’s time financial services stop trying to buy clients but rather build products clients buy.

We believe wealth will be the next business where clients and advisors will benefit in a meaningful way from tech. Our technology connects clients to their financial lives thus avoiding the pending tragedy many South Africans face having avoided their financial planning needs.

Then again maybe we’re misguided and like online banking we’ll fail!

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This edition

Issue 72