Millennials are increasingly using ‘WeChat’ and ‘WhatsApp’ Regarding Investment Opportunities

There is willingness for investors to communicate with their wealth managers via chat applications. It is important that wealth managers embrace this change.

Millennials are increasingly using ‘WeChat’ and ‘WhatsApp’ Regarding Investment Opportunities

One issue with ‘chat applications’ however, is that the wealth management firm does not own the data – the third-party messaging service does. In addition, if the advisor leaves the company so does their conversation history with the client.”

Information reaching MNI Media from GlobalData - a leading data and analytics company - from a recent analysis they have done indicates that almost 40% of millennials in the Asia-Pacific region were contacting their wealth managers via a chat application in the second quarter of 2018, a 10 percentage point increase since 2017.

"Using chat applications is one method that is increasingly used by millennials to discuss their investments with advisors. These applications offer a quick and easy way for wealth managers to contact their clients, to increase engagement levels, and grow revenue within the company." Says the GlobalData survey.

Oliver Wintle, Associate Wealth Management Analyst at GlobalData, further comments, “One issue with ‘chat applications’ however, is that the wealth management firm does not own the data – the third-party messaging service does. In addition, if the advisor leaves the company so does their conversation history with the client.”

However, email remains one of the key forms of communication between wealth managers and investors. In fact, the 2018 Mass Affluent Investors Survey suggests its use has been increasing: between 2017 and 2018, the proportion of investors communicating with their advisor via email form increased by 10 percentage points.

Wintle continues: “Despite this, email is not ideally suited to client-advisor communication. For instance, if at any point the client clicks ‘move to spam’ on an email, all future communications will follow the same path and end up in the recipient’s spam folder – stripping a company of engagement with the client. Consequently, wealth managers should focus on other communication channels.”

There is willingness for investors to communicate with their wealth managers via chat applications. It is important that wealth managers embrace this change. To tackle compliance and data ownership challenges, they should seek to include chat features in their core online and mobile platforms. Partnering with third-party IT vendors such as ‘Moxtra’ may be one solution.

Wintle adds, “Wealth managers must make sure their chosen communication channels are not easily ignored by clients. Increased engagement will undoubtedly result in better customer retention – but also a higher level of client involvement with their portfolio.”