Self-directed firms lagging on mobile but who’s doing it best?

Self-directed firms lagging on mobile but who’s doing it best?

Self-directed firms lagging on mobile but who’s doing it best?

Canada’s self-directed investment firms need to do more to improve customer experience on mobile apps according to J.D. Power.

Its newly-published 2018 Canadian Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study shows that 64% of investors don’t use their firm’s mobile app and only 31% say they have complete understanding of the mobile offer.

“Investment firms in Canada in general are significantly behind the curve when it comes to their mobile app offerings, capabilities and customer engagement,” says Mike Foy, Senior Director of the Wealth Management Practice at J.D. Power. “Investors are increasingly looking to mobile platforms, not only for convenient trade execution but also to access account information; do research; transfer funds; use planning tools; and receive customized alerts and notifications from their firms.”

He added that those firms that can deliver a robust and intuitive experience - ideally integrated across investment and other financial needs such as banking - will have a huge advantage over competitors.

The low adoption of self-directed mobile investment apps is at odds with the banking sector where 49% of customers are using mobile banking services and the channel is showing the highest satisfaction ratings.

Younger investors are a risk
Firms that fail to meet the needs of younger investors are risking losing them with 17% of millennial investors polled for the report saying they are likely to switch firms in the next year.

But a third of these investors are also intending to invest more in the next 12 months, offering greater opportunity for firms.

“Taking into account how critical mobile is for consumers and considering where the next pool of investors will come from, it is critical for self-directed investment firms to focus and improve their mobile offerings and user experience, as this is the channel Millennials and younger generations will use,” Foy added.

The report highlights the importance of transparency with 80% of respondents saying fees have been explained to them but only 44% of those having a complete understanding.

Affluent investors ($500K+ of investable assets) are more likely to be attracted to firms offering low fees (39%) while only 18% of these investors are influenced by firm reputation compared to a third of mass-market (less than $100K) and mass affluent ($100K-$499K) investors.

These firms rank highest for satisfaction
BMO InvestorLine ranks highest in self-directed investor satisfaction, with a score of 739. Desjardins Online Brokerage and CIBC Investor’s Edge rank second in a tie with a score of 735 each. Questrade ranks fourth with a score of 732.

"This ranking proves BMO InvestorLine's commitment to digital innovation and client experience," said Silvio Stroescu, President, BMO InvestorLine. "We thank our clients for this recognition and extend our appreciation to all of our partners for their leadership."

More market talk: