A survey of 1,500 consumers found that COVID-19 has driven an increased need for advice that is “accessible, affordable and personalised” – and digital technology will be integral to making that happen, according to KPMG.
“Australians who have been impacted by the crisis see financial advice and planning as essential and general awareness of the importance of advice is growing due to the crisis,” said KPMG partner Tim Thomas. “The challenge for planners is turn that underlying potential into services that consumers are willing to pay for.
“Personal relationship with advisers is often as important as the funds invested in, so regular engagement is critical, and this must be through a variety of channels, given that two-thirds now want to go wholly online.”
While more people now see financial advice as a discretionary spend, 70 per cent of consumers were satisfied with their adviser compared with 59 per cent for super funds. Advice also saw greater engagement than in insurance or super, with advisers being more proactive in contacting clients.
“With such a community focus on improving the affordability and accessibility of financial advice, the big opportunity for advice organisations is to respond to customers' shift in mindset to engage financial planners through a hybrid of face to face and digital interactions, which should go some part to reducing the cost of advice delivery without compromising on its quality,” Mr Thomas said.
Respondents under 40 believed digital technology led to better engagement, while only 29 per cent of over 65s agreed. Consumers further away from retirement were also more likely to switch providers in the next year.