Wealth Management in the Tech Age: Google and Amazon are Looming

An article in Financial Planning discusses the possibility of tech giants entering the wealth management arena, adding that “numerous studies show consumers are keener to trust Google or Amazon than UBS  or Merrill Lynch.”

Of the tech giants, the article reports, Google is the “closest to customers. Every wealthtech mobile app is run on an operating system owned by Google,” and Google Assistant offers users the ability to check financial markets, manage investments, payments, charity donations and file taxes. Amazon’s strength is integration, the article explains, explaining that most wealthtech companies stores their data in AWS Cloud and “Alexa’s skills in the business and finance section total over 1,600” spanning everything from managing mortgages to analytics.

While the big tech players have the potential to disrupt the wealth management market, the article says, probably won’t happen this year due to the highly-regulated nature of the finance business, which will slow the process down since. Investing, it notes, is a “money-sensitive area that carries reputational risk” for tech companies.

That said, the article argues, these tech giants “have two aces up their sleeves—intuitive user experience and daily-life integration,” features sought after by both advisors and investors.

Some platforms have already partnered with the big tech players, the article reports, citing Bridge FT, a firm that is using the voice recognition power of Alexa to provide customers “an incredibly easy plug-and-play experience.” The article concludes that more companies will follow suit this year and it’s likely that tech giants will “lure enterprise in by using virtual reality and augmented reality tools to develop company-specific apps, thereby widening their offerings.”