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    Switching to the latest technology part of strategy

    Alexandra Cain

    Sep27, 2019 — 11.00pm

    Some of the earliest adopters of new technologies are often high net worth investors, so it comes as no surprise they have fully embraced all the new digital tools banks are developing to make their customers' lives easier.

    "Today's high net worth private banking clients are digitally savvy and financially skilled," says Alex Wade, head of developed and emerging Asia, Credit Suisse Private Banking.

    "Clients increasingly demand and use digital channels to contact their banks, execute trades and purchase financial products," he says.

    HNW Investors are often the firstto adopt new technology. iStock / GettyImages

    Accordingto financial services consultancy Capgemini's Asia Pacific WealthReport 2017, Australian high net worth investors are leading the world in theirdemand for automation of wealth-management functionalities.

    Forinstance, they have an especially high preference for real-time portfolioinformation and for digitalised investment execution capabilities.

    "At the sametime, they still value working with their wealth managers in developing an holisticwealth and investment strategy, including outlining their financial needs andgoals, agreeing on risk tolerance and asset allocation, as well as executingcomplex investments and rebalancing their portfolios," says Wade.

    Thispresents an opportunity for wealth managers to develop a digitalisedmulti-channel service delivery model, engaging clients with technology, whilethe private banker remains at the centre of the client relationship.

    Key driver

    Credit Suisse has recently madesignificant investments in digital technology to capture this opportunity anddeepen its relationships with its current and next generation of privatebanking clients.

    "Welaunched the digital private banking app in Australia at the end of last year,creating a new multi-channel service delivery model, combining a digital anddirect client experience, which will be a key driver of business growth,"Wade says.

    Inthe past six months, the number of users among Credit Suisse's Australianprivate banking clients has increased more than six-fold. At the same time, thenumber and the total value of equity trade orders clients placed through thedigital private banking platform have increased three-fold and six-foldrespectively in the last three months.

    "Wesought feedback from clients in designing our digital solutions. We asked themabout their preferences in terms of the functionalities, usability and how theywanted to make decisions on a digital platform," Wade says.

    Theconsultation process indicated clients prefer a personalised portfolio view sothey can see their assets any time they want.

    "Theywant a simple, consolidated view of financial status, performance, upcomingcorporate events and the ability to drill down into details. They also want thebank's insights and options on how to respond to financial markets, within thecontext of their portfolio," he says.

    CreditSuisse's clients tend to be wealthy individuals and many of their financialdemands are highly complex. So it is not just about a digital solution: theyalso require the insights of experienced bankers to help them guide theirdecisions.

    "Forexample, our clients look at wealth planning across generations and oftenrequire integrated options across private and investment banking that covertheir corporate as well as their personal wealth needs. These requirementscannot yet be serviced via a digitalised automated platform.

    "Asa result, clients continue to value the collaboration with the relationship managerand the bank," Wade says.

    CreditSuisse's digital private banking offering delivers around-the-clock access tocomprehensive information about their accounts, market insights andintelligence, personalised according to their portfolio.

    "Importantly,while clients are empowered with timely information and research, they are alsoequipped with trading tools that enable them to respond to movingmarkets," Wade says.

    Theapp is available for download on supported iPad, iPhone and Android mobiledevices and is also accessible via web browser.

    CreditSuisse is among a number of banks developing a sophisticated digital bankingoffering for clients. CommSec is another institution that has launched newfunctionality for its wealthy investors.

    Big benefit

    "Thelaunch of PayID earlier this year was a big moment for financial services inAustralia and meaningfully improves the banking experience for customers whoare actively transacting across multiple institutions," says Brian Phelps,general manager of CommSec's retail distribution business.

    PayIDoffers people an easy way to send money to and from financial institutions. Itis supported by the New Payments Platform, which is new infrastructure thatunderpins the Australian financial services sector.

    "Ashigh net worth customers on the whole have multiple banking relationships, thisrepresents a big benefit for their transaction needs," he says.

    NeilSlonim, The Bank Doctor, says the major attraction of banking apps for high networth people is their convenience and accessibility.

    "Userscan do their banking 24/7 wherever they may be in the world. There's no need tovisit branches or wait to talk to someone in a call centre. This isparticularly attractive to people who travel frequently as well as those whoare time poor," says Slonim.

    Hesays apps also make it easier for users to maintain financial records as wellas plan how they can manage their finances.

    SaysSlonim: "Some may have concerns about cyber crime but it is unlikely usersof apps are exposed to any higher risk that those who rely on traditional formsof banking."

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