Salesforce.com has peered into the future of financial services and proclaimed that the future of advice is digital.

A Salesforce survey completed in the fourth quarter of 2015 said “Almost all wealth managers view digital capabilities as key for future competitiveness, supplementing face-to-face relationships, and boosting overall efficiency.”

Key Takeaways

  • Improving digital capabilities is the #1 growth strategy for wealth managers over the next two years.

  • There is a chasm between wealth managers’ current digital capabilities and their ambitions.

  • Innovative technology-based solutions can counteract reduced margins.

  • 75% reported that their suite of digital applications needed to improve.

  • 71% expect to collect data through social media over two years, up from just 29% today.

A Broad Digital Spectrum

The digital capabilities that many advisory firms and wealth managers are concerned with include:

  • Robo-advising

  • Digital payments

  • Blockchain technology

  • Online account opening

  • Mobile and tablet capabilities

Perhaps the biggest digital divide is in how financial advisors perceive and monitor their websites as a potential sales tool. According to the study, only 13% of advisory firms monitored their websites, and 17% neither actively reviewed their competitors’ sites or their own.

The good news is that seven in ten firms expected to monitor their website’s persona (and competitors) – although it may be as long as two years in the making.