Fiserv to offer robo to its adviser, bank clients

Fintech firm will make the Marstone digital-advice platform available to the 13,000 financial institutions it works with

Feb 6, 2017 @ 10:24 am

By Liz Skinner

Fiserv will make the Marstone digital-advice platform available to the 13,000 financial institutions it works with, allowing advisory firms, banks and other institutions an opportunity to integrate a robo-advice strategy into their businesses, the fintech company said Monday.

Some financial firms may choose to offer an all-digital-advice service, or craft a hybrid service that combines the automated platform with live advice. The Marstone technology could even be used to offer clients a central place to view all their accounts in a client portal, said Cheryl Nash, Fiserv's president of investment services.

“Fiserv is delivering a flexible solution that advisers can use to elevate the digital experience for their clients,” she said.

(More: Robos to make banks a bigger competitor in advice market)

How much Fiserv will charge financial firms to use the platform with clients is not yet set, Ms. Nash said. Fiserv's platform supports about 5 million managed accounts with about $1.4 trillion in assets.

Many financial institutions that offer retirement advice have been thinking about integrating a digital-advice platform to help them meet requirements of a new Labor Department rule that's set to take effect starting in April, mandating all retirement advice be in a client's best interest. That rule, however, is up in the air as President Donald Trump asked the DOL last Friday to review its regulation.

Margaret Hartigan, a former financial adviser and founder of Marstone, said robo-technology is an effective way to provide fiduciary advice to smaller accounts, but there are other reasons advisers should consider integrating her digital-advice platform.

“It's about far more than fiduciary,” she said. “It's about serving mass-affluent clients in a cost-efficient way.”

(Editorial: Getting a handle on robo-advisers' returns)

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