Fidelity offers mobile check deposit for on-the-go investment advisors
Fidelity Investments added a mobile check deposit feature to its mobile applications in an effort to cater to the changing needs of financial advisors and family office professionals who are doing more work out of the office.
Fidelity’s retail apps already offered a check deposit feature, but now the company has tweaked the technology to specifically cater to investment advisors. The technology uses the camera on a smartphone or tablet to capture the front and back of a check and securely deposit it into advisors’ clients’ brokerage accounts.
“I look at the strategy behind the remote and mobile check deposit technology as very much evolutionary in how we’re serving our clients,” said Tim Morello, vice president of advisor technology for Fidelity Institutional, Boston. “What we’ve done at Fidelity over the last several years is migrate to more of a Web-based technology stack where all of the technology is available online for everything an advisor needs.
“How do we service the advisor that’s no longer in their office all day and no longer behind a desk?” he said. “They’re talking to clients at their home, maybe their clients have multiple offices. They’re really anywhere. How do we support these anywhere advisors?
“We look at the work they’re performing and what they want to do when they’re away from their desk. And one of the key thing is a client hands them a check to deposit.”
The anywhere advisor
According to Mr. Morello, investor advisors are increasingly doing more work out of the office, and they now have the need to deposit checks on the go. Fidelity wanted to provide them with the tools to make that possible.
Previously, advisors would have to overnight a check to Fidelity in order to deposit it to a client’s account. Now they can deposit a check immediately in real-time.
The new technology saves advisors time and money by providing an efficient and easy way to deposit checks.
Additionally, the deposit feature streamlines the process and reduces the likelihood of human error.
Adding the check deposit feature is part of Fidelity’s greater efforts to cater to its increasingly mobile clients.
According to asset management strategic consultancy kasina, almost 77 percent of advisors use at least one mobile device for business purposes.
Additionally, there have been more than 22,000 downloads of Fidelity Institutional’s mobile applications, representing 42 percent of users on Fidelity’s clearing and custody platforms.
Offering the check deposit feature for advisors was also an obvious move for Fidelity after seeing the success of the feature in the consumer side. Since the feature was introduced in 2011, almost $2.5 million in checks a day is deposited via Fidelity’s app.
Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services clients can also deposit checks via desktop scanners. Since this feature was launched in 2010, more than $27 billion in checks have been scanned from desktops.
With the feature now offered on mobile devices, advisors will be even less tied down to offices and desks.
“[Investors] are increasingly away from the office, wanting to work at their clients office, a remote office,” Mr. Morello said. “How do we support them? How do we build technology that works in variety of those devices, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, desktop?
“Fidelity will continue to invest in technology to look at what are the trends in the industry coupled with the opportunities, and we pull together where do those things align to build our strategy,” he said.
“We’re not going to stop here. We’re going to continue to evolve our technology to meet the growing needs of our clients.”
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York