Strategy

EXCLUSIVE: Wealth Management Apps Below Par, Say Rich Millennials

Robbie Lawther, Reporter, 8 February 2018

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The study, exclusively revealed by this publication, examines views in the UK, US, France, Germany, and Switzerland.

Wealthy Millennials globally want digital solutions to monitor their financial affairs, but over a third are unhappy with the standards of their wealth manager’s online applications, new research from MyPrivateBanking reported exclusively by this news service shows. 

The report, Millennials in Wealth Management - A Survey of Digital Attitudes and Behavior in Five Key Markets, is based on a panel survey in the US, UK, France, Germany and Switzerland, addressing the digital needs and preferences of 1,000 affluent and high net worth individuals aged 18 to 34.

The survey found that most high net worth Millennials (64 per cent) use their wealth manager’s mobile app(s). However, 34 per cent of them refuse to use banking solutions because they are unhappy with their capabilities.

According to the survey, French Millennials are heavy tablet users (67 per cent) and are the only country segment that prefers desktop use (82 per cent) over smartphones (81 per cent).

In the UK, Millennials constitute the largest country segment that is using smart speakers, smartwatches and smartphones for financial matters. More than a third of German Millennials (34 per cent) say they do not use their wealth manager’s apps because they have concerns regarding personal data and security

The high net worth Millennials with $1 million of investable assets or more are also using different communication channels, including social media, text or video chat, to talk to their financial advisor. For all three contact options, Millennials scored 0.89, with zero meaning “not at all”, one “occasionally” and two “frequently”.

Robo-advisors
HNW Millennials are also think robo-advisors show promise, according to the survey, and around 40 per cent stated they have already heard or read about them. Some 11 per cent said they know quite a lot about robos, and 10 per cent said they know about them in detail.

However, actual usage among those who are aware of robos is at 40 per cent. And the clear majority (60 per cent) expect accessibility to a human advisor when investing with a robo-advisor.

French Millennials form the largest group of robo users. 

Around 81 per cent of US Millennials expect to have access to a human advisor when investing through a robo platform, while 20 per cent of UK Millennials expect regular meetings or calls with a human advisor.

Some 45 per cent of German Millennials state that they have never heard about robo-advisors. Around half of Swiss Millennials have never about robo-advisors before but 65 per cent say that they could imagine using such a tool in the future.

Conclusions
MyPrivateBanking made several conclusions from the findings of the report:

- Mobile is a must but wealth managers should not bury the desktop just yet. 
- Wealth managers should provide relevant apps and tools.
- Wealth managers should offer a smart speaker.
- Wealth managers should invest in hybrid robo advice.

“The old desktop computer is still very much in use for financial matters, many millennials don’t trust the mobile app, and robo advice should come with a human advisor attached,” Carmela Melone, senior analyst at MyPrivateBanking, said. “However, we see a lot of variance across different wealth brackets – especially the wealthiest segment among millennials has aggressive digital requirements for their wealth managers and banks.”

There is debate within the financial world of the importance of separating Millennials as a category in a bid to reach out to more clients aged 18-34. Earlier this week, this publication reported that Cerulli Associates said that Millennials should not be pigeonholed because they are similar to previous generations. However, this publication has also interviewed various firms on what they are doing with Millennials as generation, including Julius Baer and BNY Mellon’s Pershing.

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