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A lesson from Netflix: How personalisation can improve financial advice

02 October 2019

The race is on to begin delivering personalised financial products and services to clients, writes EValue's Chet Velani...

Looking at screen

Personalisation is all around us. Netflix and Spotify suggest programmes, films and music they think we'll like based on our previous viewing habits, whilst online clothing brands show us items that match our style based on what we’ve bought before.

All of this is designed to improve the customer experience, making it easier and quicker for us to find what we are interested in. The wealth market can and should also create tailored experiences that enable clients to make better financial decisions in a more engaging and efficient way.

Accenture surveyed 33,000 financial services clients across 18 markets and found that nearly three-quarters (73%) expect personalised investment products and services in exchange for their data.

There will naturally be resulting privacy concerns. Putting in place privacy policies will help to reassure savers that the benefits outweigh these worries. A digital banking report found that 57% of consumers are okay with providing personal information if it’s for their benefit and being used in responsible ways.

Financial services personalisation can be beneficial to both clients and businesses: research by Oracle suggests that financial institutions could earn 14% extra in revenue if they offered clients an individualised experience.

Personalised financial products

The race is on for financial services organisations to deliver personalised financial products. Kurtosys found that personalisation and targeting is a priority for 62% of asset managers, while 32% of financial services executives are already using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as predictive analytics, recommendation engines and voice recognition.

So, what does personalisation look like for advisers? It’s not simply sending out emails using contacts’ names and job titles – which is simple marketing rather than personalisation. What’s required is combining financial planning services with tools that make it easier for people to act on what they’ve learnt.

One example is using clients’ financial data to show how much money they’ll have in the future. A personalised video could show the impact of investors changing the amount of money they invest or the length of their investment term. Research suggests that 72% of people would rather use a video to learn about a product or service and because it is more engaging and easier to understand than paper forms, people will be more likely to act.

Another example of more face-to-face personalisation is found in investment risk. Utilising digital advice tools, advisers can factor in a client’s specific pot size and investment risk level to quickly demonstrate the effect of changing the investment strategy. This can better align expectations from the outset and explore a wider range of options more expediently.

While it might be early days for automated advice, technologies like advice logic engines, AI and chatbots are rapidly developing and opening a multitude of new opportunities for personalisation.

Financial wellbeing

In the future, advisers should be leveraging digital platforms to provide clients with access to advice or guidance on any device at any time. A combination of online tools and advisers could also help to ensure appropriate financial protection is in place and that people set appropriate financial goals. For example, they could notify people when changes to their lifestyle or economic situation will impact their goals or spending.

Such a personalised service would help to create a healthier relationship between people and their money, and a better balance between saving and spending. It could help to ease any financial stress and give savers peace of mind that they’re making the best decisions for the future.

The technology now exists to give clients an easy, clear way to understand their financial situation – advisers able to provide this will stand out from the crowd.

Chet Velani is chief commercial officer at EValue

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