Few emerging products have generated the hype that surrounds robo-advice in 2017.
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison backed robo-advice at a G20 conference in Germany earlier this year as a solution for meeting the advice needs of communities across Australia. Two of the big banks, Westpac and NAB, have already rolled out robo as part of their product suite.
In principle, the product offers a host of advantages over traditional financial advice. It is low cost, high volume and has the potential to guide the investments of a massive ‘dark pool’ of unadvised Australian assets, estimated by CoreData to be somewhere in the vicinity of $1.9 trillion.
Despite the high hopes that politicians and product developers have for robo-advice, the market is yet to be revolutionised in the way that many suggest it will be, and these platforms are yet to gain a significant foothold in the advice market. Overseas, the UK’s first Robo-Advisor, Nutmeg, is suffering from growing losses.
Generational differences and the lack of a tailored approach by robo providers may be one reason that robo-advice is yet to hit the mainstream. We live in a time where the differences between age groups have never been more stark, driven in part by the rampant development of digital offers.
The one-size-fits-all approach is out of touch with the reality of the type of relationship and customer service consumers want. The ability to identify and effectively service customers’ different needs simultaneously is the ultimate test as to whether a digital product is successful, but based on the existing evidence, today’s robo-advice offers are yet to truly overcome this challenge.