Thanks to innovation and scientific advancements, there are tools in our lives today we feel we could not live without.
For many people, smartphones fit that description.
There is seemingly nothing a smartphone cannot either do or facilitate. While its effectiveness as a communication device (phone, texting, social media) is unprecedented, it’s viability as an information source has changed the way people maintain awareness of what is going on in the world.
There are people today who are never without their smartphone nearby, if not always in their hand.
The usefulness of the smartphone, and the willingness among investors to place so much responsibility upon the device, affects financial advisors. An increasing number of investors want to be able to not only communicate with their advisor via smartphone through either telephone communication or texting, but they also want to be able to access information from their advisor via their website, blog or social media posts.
Spectrem’s quarterly wealth segmentation series study on social media and mobile technology covers the financial aspects of investors’ use of smartphones. But Spectrem’s Investor Pulse decided to see just how much investors use their smartphone in their daily, non-investment lives.
More than 1,000 affluent investors were asked what types of daily or regularly scheduled transactions they conduct on their smartphone. They were also asked what transaction app they are most fond of to make some of those transactions.
Not all investors are tied to their smartphone the way Millennials or Gen Xers seem to be. Almost half (46 percent) said they do not use their smartphone for daily financial transactions like making retail purchases.
However, 32 percent of investors do use their smartphones to make deposits into checking and savings accounts, and the wealthier the investor, the more likely they are to perform that transaction function with their smartphone.
Almost 30 percent of investors make retail purchases with their smartphone, and almost one-quarter pay their monthly bills that way. Nineteen percent purchase airplane and other transit tickets with their smartphone.
Obviously, use of a smartphone for functions other than making phone calls is going to have a generational bias. Among investors under the age of 40, 67 percent make deposits with their smartphone, 50 percent pay monthly bills and 42 percent purchase transportation tickets via smartphone. However, only 38 percent make retail purchases with their handheld device.
There are apps which make financial transactions easy to accomplish via smartphone, but less than half of all investors use them. Among the most popular apps used for transactions, 23 percent of affluent investors use PayPal and 16 percent use Apple Pay. Like with financial transactions, the wealthier the investor, the more likely the investor is to use apps of this sort.
While advisors still must function the old-fashioned way for some investors, they need to be aware that a growing percentage of their clientele want to do everything they possibly can with their smartphone, and should act accordingly.