Best Practices for Using Virtual Communication and FinTech in Financial Planning

Best Practices for Using Virtual Communication and FinTech in Financial Planning

The use of financial planning technology has become more widespread in recent years. The question is, what can planners do to make the most of it — and how is it already influencing planning outcomes?

TORONTO, April 30, 2024 /CNW/ – The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that financial planners are increasingly adopting new technologies when working with clients. Virtual communications and FinTech, in particular, are offering many advantages but they’re also presenting challenges.

Understanding these technologies and how they’re impacting planning outcomes is essential. These insights allow for the continued development of best practices, enabling planners to leverage virtual communication and FinTech effectively and improve the financial planning experience for clients.

The Canadian Foundation for Financial Planning and Kansas State University Investigate

The Canadian Foundation for Financial Planning (formerly the FP Canada Research Foundation™) funded research to explore financial planning technology in practice. Conducted by researchers at Kansas State University, it examined best practices for conducting financial planning meetings virtually and using FinTech and virtual communications.

The research also looked at how these technologies influence planning outcomes from both the planner’s and the client’s perspectives. Here are just a few key findings, which highlight some of the advantages and challenges arising around the use of virtual meetings, virtual communication, and FinTech:

  • The majority of planners intend to use virtual meeting platforms often, if not always, but most favoured being in person for initial meetings with new clients.
  • Among clients, in-person meetings were the majority preference.
  • Among clients who elected to meet virtually, nearly 80% were somewhat or extremely satisfied with their relationship with their planner.
  • Over half of planners said FinTech improved planner-client relationships; about half of clients said the same — and reported benefits such as more effective financial decision making.
  • Many planners also expressed frustrations with FinTech around issues related to access, challenges with integration between tools, and difficulty with user interfaces.

Applying the Findings: Best Practices for Financial Planners

The research findings point to best practices for making the most of financial planning technologies while minimizing its challenges. With regard to virtual meetings, planners should check in with clients about their preferences around virtual versus in-person meetings. Efforts to enhance their virtual communication skills, test technology ahead of time, and understand client comfort levels with technology can alleviate some of the negative aspects associated with virtual meetings.

Planners often recognize the value of FinTech, but for many, there are opportunities to use it more strategically. When leveraging FinTech, planners should ensure they take the time to explain any tools used in client engagement. They should also consider how best to use email; setting up client email notifications about accounts and investments, obtaining permission to engage in email communication with clients, and ensuring that clients are active participants in communication who receive relevant content can all be beneficial steps.

To learn more, visit the website to read the research paper and executive summary. You’ll also find the practice notes, which are designed to help financial planners apply insights from the research.

Canadian Foundation for Financial Planning 

The Canadian Foundation for Financial Planning is an independent registered charity dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians by supporting widespread access to the benefits of financial planning. Our work impacts all Canadians, no matter their financial circumstance. Through our research, partners, and volunteer financial planning professionals, those who need it most will have improved access to financial planning advice, and the knowledge and skills to feel financially secure and enhance their financial well-being – something every Canadian needs and deserves.


Best Practices for Using Virtual Communication and FinTech in Financial Planning

For further information: Media Inquiries Contact: Lee Reisch, FP Canada, [email protected]