Speaker interview: Simon Binney

Simon Binney, Business Development Director, Wealth Wizards

Where has digital advice matured to, and how can it enhance the provision of financial advice to the public?

Digital advice has opened up a whole new area of the market, making financial advice affordable and accessible to people with lower net worth. This is a new opportunity for those who normally would not be able to afford financial advice but want to start saving, and is only a positive for the customer.

What are the biggest challenges for firms looking to build and implement a new digital advice proposition?

One of the biggest challenges faced by firms is inertia. Some aren’t ready to embrace the new technology, while other traditional advisers are worried they will lose their jobs to digital advice. We are confident that traditional advisors will not be phased out, as digital advice can work to support ‘human’ advisers, and help improve efficiency and consistency for a more affordable service offered to more clients.

What lessons can large incumbents and fintech startups learn from one another, regarding the provision of digital advice?

As a fintech startup having met many of the financial incumbents, they have got in touch with us because we’re agile and aren’t afraid of trying new things. Many financial incumbents have begun to build their own digital advice proposition, but there is often a lack of new technology knowledge and significant red tape within such a large organisation. We’re able to show them new agile ways of working, and how embracing new user-intuitive technology produces more consistent outcomes for their customers.

What are the relative challenges / benefits of using digital advice as a transactional-led proposition (to remove risk from the internal advisory process) vs. using it to optimise the customer journey?

Digital advice can speed up the advice process considerably. For example, our product, the ‘robo paraplanner,’ is being used by LV= to support their online retirement advice service. We have helped reduce their start-to-finish advice process from up to 15 hours to under 2 hours, with customer response times now under 1 week for a full advice report. We are confident that the advice produced is more consistent and robust.

Which savings / retail banking products most lend themselves to being transformed by digital advice?

Wherever a decision needs to be made, be it financial advice or anything else, a computer can almost always do it more efficiently and consistently. In the future, we see digital advice being used in all digital products, including debt management, mortgages, protection and equity release.

Why will you be speaking at Finance Edge’s Digital Advice Summit, and what do you hope to get out of the event?

I’m honoured to be speaking at the Digital Advice Summit because I’m enthusiastic about the future of digital advice. I’m part of a thriving start up robo adviser called Wealth Wizards, and it’ll be great to meet some like-minded people and spread the positive word about online advice.

Digital Advice Summit
21 February 2018, London.

Simon Binney will be join us during the Digital Advice Summit. This high-level and interactive forum, will bring together senior-level professionals from all corners of the financial advice space.
Contact us to secure your place