Cetera adding facial recognition software to help gauge clients' emotions

The tool is part of a series of upgrades that the Los Angeles-based firm is making to its technology platform for advisers

Jun 7, 2017 @ 12:01 pm

By Liz Skinner

Cetera Financial Group is adding facial recognition software to its set of financial technology tools later this year in an effort help its 8,500 affiliated advisers learn more about what's most important to their clients.

The goal is for advisers to develop financial plans that better meet clients' objectives by learning more about the emotions and behavioral nuances that impact their important financial decisions.

"As experienced advisers know, client decisions about personal finances have always been significantly influenced by emotions that clients and their loved ones may not be fully aware of, and which are frequently left unsaid," said Robert Moore, Cetera's chief executive.

This is one of a series of upgrades that the Los Angeles-based firm is making to its technology platform for advisers. It's also due to integrate a robo-advice offering for advisers to use with clients by year end.

(More: Meeting clients' high-tech expectations)

The facial recognition software analyzes the client while he or she watches a short video of different life scenarios. Working with other technology, the facial recognition software measures the emotional response of the person to the video and then offers actionable information on what the client feels, wants and needs as it relates to making financial decisions that support their goals.

In addition to better plans, it will help advisers create a more emotionally connected rapport with clients more quickly, Mr. Moore said.

(More: Passwords to become passe as more firms back biometrics)

Additionally, it will help advisers show they are acting in a client's best interest, the key requirement of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule for retirement advice, according to Cetera.

After a pilot program this summer, the Decipher software will be available in the third or fourth quarter of 2017 through any secure computer or tablet that has a built-in web camera.

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