He’s a ‘silver surfer’ but he’s never had a desktop or laptop. He taps and swipes his way through the world on his smartphone or tablet.
Dad is part of a fast-growing trend of older people who are adopting new technology in their lives. According to latest ONS figures, for the first time in 2019 over half the adults in the UK aged 65 or over were online shoppers. Ofcom’s Adults: Media use and attitudes report 2019 found 92% of adults aged 65 to 74 use a mobile phone and over half of internet users aged 65-74 have a social media profile.
Yet, if I had a pound for every time I heard a financial adviser say “But my clients are older, they don’t use technology”, well then, this time next year Rodders…
There’s a misconception that older clients are unwilling to try new technology, that it is there for millennials - or those true digital natives, the Gen Zs. As a Gen X daughter of Baby Boomers, I do have an influence on my dad’s adoption of technology, but he is eager to learn how to use new apps or gadgets. And, he’s not taking it up to simply keep up with the times, but to make his life easier.
Your clients may be of an older generation, but they do use technology. We see this in our own usage stats across the moneyinfo client portal service. Some 38% of users are between 51 and 65, with 26% over the age of 66. More than half access the service via their adviser’s app on their smartphones or tablets and this number is growing.
It’s time to let go of stereotypes about older people and technology and shift focus to how it could solve your clients’ problems. As well as delivering a better client experience, you should benefit from improvements in cost, efficiency and data security.
Of the moneyinfo users who aggregate their wider finances alongside what their adviser manages, a whopping 74% track their property values while 52% connect their online banking, credit card or held away investment accounts to see daily balances or recent transactions. The fastest growing area is the document store where clients can snap a picture of their Policy Document or Will on a smartphone and share this to their account.
But it’s the anecdotal stories that are most enlightening; the client who invested £800k with his adviser and felt it was more tangible because he could “see it right there” or the family who store family recipes passed down the generations.
As for dad, well his journey continues. His latest Whatsapp message was to ask for my opinion on Fitbits. That’s Christmas all sorted then!
Tessa Lee is managing director of fintech and adviser support firm moneyinfo