Mobile for Wealth Management and Insurance Agents in 2012
Mobile banking and mobile commerce are now table stakes in North America.
Most institutions have at least a placeholder offering for the now majority of customers with smartphones and tablets. Retail banking, retail mobile commerce, brokerages, and P&C insurance companies all have strong mobile offerings in market.
Mobile for wealth management and insurance agents are a huge trend we’re seeing across the U.S. and Canada. However, as with early mobile banking, the first efforts tend to be timid. It’s only a matter of time before bolder offerings arrive.
Early wealth offerings focus primarily on research with some limited portfolio capabilities. Citi Private Bank, for example, is primarily for reviewing research. Bank of America Merrill Lynch offers self-directed clients a larger variety of tools.
It seems everyone is targeting the iPad almost exclusively. However, private banking executives report pressure to support a wider variety of devices that ultra high net worth clients demand – not for themselves – but for attorneys or accountants that work for them. Clearly the iPad is the top priority, but certain Android tablets and a variety of smartphones are likely to be in the mix as well.
Insurance agent applications for tablets – the tablet form of the agent portal are much rarer in production. However many life, health, and P&C insurers are working furiously on offerings – particularly for independent agents.
The arms race is gearing up. Expect the press releases to go across the wires this fall.