Your website may be great, but investors want an app says JD Power

Digital channels are increasingly important for successful wealth managers

Your website may be great, but investors want an app says JD Power
Steve Randall

The way that investors want to engage with financial advisors and investment managers continues to evolve.

Digital channels have been an important part of meeting client needs for many years, but where websites have tended to be the focus, an app is now becoming an essential tool.

The J.D. Power 2023 Canada Wealth Management Digital Experience Study, released today (Dec. 7) reveals that more wealth management clients than ever are logging into wealth websites and apps – and doing so boosts their satisfaction.

Apps are substantially outperforming websites in this regard. For full-service wealth management firms, a mobile app provides an average satisfaction score of 704 out of 1000. A website scores 686. The gap is smaller among self-directed wealth management apps (653) and websites (650).

While younger investors are more likely to prefer digital channels for financial advice, planning, and service than older cohorts, they are not the only ones to demand strong tech offerings.

“Historically, digital wealth management tools have been focused on serving younger and more active do-it-yourself investors,” said Craig Martin, executive managing director and global head of wealth and lending intelligence at J.D. Power. “But that has changed in recent years, with clients of all ages and investor types routinely engaging with their wealth relationships digitally.  With increased market volatility and uncertainty, clients want to be reassured about their financial situation and have confidence in their plan. Digital is a crucial engagement channel to do this, and firms need to carefully consider the future role it will play in how they serve clients of all types.”

The study reveals that full-service firms have an advantage by offering digital and human touchpoints, while self-service firms will need to go above and beyond with their digital offerings.

The outperformers

Edward Jones ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction with wealth management digital experience, with a score of 715. iA Private Wealth (702) ranks second and CI Assante Wealth Management (700) ranks third.