Technology

EXCLUSIVE: Asia Is Out Front As HNW Individuals Embrace Mobile Tech, Apps In Wealth Management

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 26 November 2014

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More than 80 per cent of affluent and high net worth persons around the world use apps or mobile websites for financial affairs, this publication can exclusively report. And Asia leads the way.

If any wealth manager was in any doubt as to the onward march of technology, a survey shows that over 80 per cent of affluent and high net worth persons around the world use apps or mobile websites for financial affairs, this publication can exclusively report. And Asia leads this trend.

A report by MyPrivateBanking Research, a Switzerland-based organisation tracking such issues in wealth management, said the Chinese are the most advanced users of mobile technology when it comes to their financial affairs. For instance, 96 per cent of Chinese respondents are using mobile apps for financial transactions and information, whereas this proportion is only 74 per cent in the US and 71 per cent in Germany.

The findings are in a report called Global Survey of Mobile Disruption In Wealth Management 2014. The organisation has already shed light on the current buzzword in wealth management – the “robo-advisor”. (For a report on that issue, see here.) For the latest study, MyPrivateBanking Research interviewed 1,000 affluent and high-net-worth individuals in the US, UK, Germany, France and China.

In the report the five countries were ranked for a selection of questions that best indicate technological/mobile adoption, with points out of a maximum possible score of 100. In first place came China at 61; UK at 54, France at 53, Germany at 43 and the US – perhaps surprisingly given that country’s presumed tech prowess – at 36.

“While China is clearly the market where wealthy individuals are in general the technology-friendliest group of affluent and high-net-worth individuals, other key countries will catch up soon,” Steffen Binder, head of research at MyPrivateBanking, said.

“Wealth managers who adopt mobile touch points the fastest will gain a real competitive advantage and therefore place additional pressure on their more conservative peers in each country and globally,” Binder said. The digital development of wealth management in the US is held back by US banks’ very cautious attitude towards new digital capabilities. The fear of violating compliance rules is, according to MyPrivateBanking, widespread.

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