FISERV Ups Their Financial Planning Game

When discussion among financial technologists turns to financial planning software, FISERV is generally not one of the first names to enter the discussion. Many often forget that FISERV has had a presence in the financial planning software world going back to at least 2010 when they acquired Advice America. Perhaps that is because FISERV is so large, and offers so many products and services, that financial planning – a small portion of their overall business – often gets overlooked. If recent actions on the part of FISERV are any indication, the status quo may be about to change.

FISERV recently rolled out enhancements to their suite of products that enable financial advisors to operate more efficiently and better collaborate with clients in order to identify and achieve their investment goals. The company’s new offering includes a flexible and interactive financial planning tool that integrates with home office systems, streamlining manual processes so advisors can spend more time focusing on clients.

They are also trying to automate some of the financial planning tasks that advisors currently perform manually. For example, the software can generate some common scenarios automatically. Let’s say a client is not on track to meet their goals. The software can automatically generate scenarios to save more, spend less, or delay the goal within certain pre-defined parameters, saving the advisor a substantial amount of time. I saw a demonstration of the new FISERV financial planning tools and they looked very promising.

According to FISERV, financial planning technologies often lack integration to other systems, which means advisors must extract and cull data from inside and outside their organization to create a complete picture of their clients’ financial standing. The financial planning technology from FISERV is the beginning of the firm’s plan to bridge this gap, allowing advisors to initiate financial plans, generate proposals, and easily open and monitor accounts without having to toggle between systems or re-enter data for service requests or trading. Investment proposals can be quickly generated, and accounts can be opened and electronically signed – either remotely or in the office. Advisors can discuss plans and illustrate changes with clients in real-time, enabling them to immediately see the impact and adjust plans accordingly.

Looking forward, FISERV will add additional capabilities and integrations. For example, they plan to integrate CRM software with the platform. According to Igor Jonjic, Sr. Product Manager of Investment Services at FISERV, they are currently working on a Salesforce integration. They have also held preliminary integration talks with Redtail CRM as well. Jonjic says that further CRM integrations will be added based upon customer demand.

With CRM integration, advisors will be able to use the platform to generate an investment proposal for a client, open the accounts digitally through eSignature, fund the accounts, and then manage the portfolios using FISERV portfolio management and accounting software. The data will flow seamlessly from one module to another, including the financial planning module. That’s the vision anyway; the full rollout is in the works, but not yet complete.

FISERV will be building on the platform’s financial capabilities as well. While they are keeping the details of their development roadmap confidential for the time being, the general plan is to extend the financial planning capabilities into more complex planning areas going forward.

While much work remains to be done, FISERV appears to be making the right moves. If they can continue to execute on their strategy, their enterprise clients will surely take notice – if they haven’t already.

Joel Bruckenstein
Joel Bruckenstein
Joel P. Bruckenstein, CFP®, is Publisher of the T3 Tech Hub (formerly the T3 newsletter) and the producer of the Technology Tools for Today (T3) Advisor Conference, the only annual technology conference for independent advisors, as well as the Technology Tools for Today (T3) Enterprise Conference. Bruckenstein is an internationally acclaimed expert on applied technology as it relates to the financial service industry. He is the co-author of three books: Virtual Office Tools for a High Margin Practice, Tools and Techniques of Practice Management, and Technology Tools for Today’s High Margin Practice. Joel’s monthly technology columns appear in Financial Advisor magazine and Financial Planning magazine. In addition, he compiles the annual technology survey for Financial Planning magazine. Bruckenstein has for more than twenty years advised financial service firms of all sizes on improving their technologies, processes and workflows. For more information about Joel Bruckenstein and the services his firm offers, please visit www.JoelBruckenstein.com

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