IFA, independent financial adviser, fintech, advice software, advice technology, advice tech, InvestmentLink,

InvestmentLink chief technology officer Wayne Robinson says many fintech products available to the advice market are targeted either at end clients or bigger dealer groups and institutions.

Mr Robinson said producing software for smaller advice practices is “very hard to do”.

“One of the biggest challenges you have when targeting the independent [advice] space is that each individual client you’re dealing with is going to have less money,” he told Fintech Business.

“The tools that you have to build have to be rock solid and work well for independent financial advisers to be able to customise things and work with those tools themselves and to provide those tools to the end client, because otherwise they’re spending a large amount of money on customisations and other software development tasks.”

Mr Robinson said the costs associated with these customisations make the available software less feasible for independent advisers.

“Independent financial advisers basically get left behind in that marketplace because as an IFA, you might have 80 to 200 underlying clients [and] they just can’t afford the minimum prices that a large piece of software would require to be able to use them,” he said.

In order to meet the needs of smaller firms and break into this market, Mr Robinson said fintech firms need to produce software that is “easily customisable by the technical layman” so smaller businesses are able to invest in the technology and adapt it to their own needs.

“The trick to all of this is to release products that are definitely targeted towards specific needs and in specific best-practice ways for financial advisers and accountants in this SME space, but still give them all the control in how they present themselves to their end clients, so they can still deliver the products as their products, but in a way that is best practice so they can get value from day one.”