The great Covid-19 lockdown has changed financial services – and some aspects may never go back to the way they were.
The financial services industry is a pretty traditional one. In a lot of ways that makes sense. When you are looking after people’s life savings you don’t want to do anything that could put those at risk.
And yet, even before the lockdown occurred, innovative companies were striving to find new ways to serve clients, use technology and change processes to make things easier for our clients – while still providing the protections needed to keep everyone safe. The lockdown just accelerated that.
Here are a few ways that things have changed for us – and you – during the lockdown:
Non-face-to-face meetings: Before the lockdown, we’d already done a reasonable amount of work with clients over the phone. But with the rise of video calling services like Zoom, people are becoming more comfortable with the technology. This means our clients can now see their advisor, we can screen-share illustrations or financial information, and we can develop relationships without anyone having to leave their home. If you want to do the same for your finances or insurance, contact us and let us know!
The rise of Online Life Insurance options: Traditionally, to get life insurance, you had to sit down with an advisor to determine your needs and go through the process of applying. Now, we still think that having a holistic view of your needs is the best practice. But sometimes you just want something simple – Term 20 or Term 30 insurance, for example to cover a mortgage. You want to do it on your own terms, and timing. Basically, the Amazon of insurance. Now you can. Click here to find out how.
Improved access to financial information: With the growth of online access, companies are improving the tools people use to access their own plans. This includes Canada Life – our Pension Fund manager. They’ve done major improvements to www.grsaccess.com to give people much better access to all of their financial information. (If you’re not yet a member, you can use the Access ID:MEMBERDEMO and Password ONLINE4U to see how it works)
Moving to online education: For many years we’ve been doing pre-retirement sessions for teachers and Group RRSP clients – and this year we launched a wholly revamped Financial Wellness Series for people to look at both savings and how to manage debt. For years we’ve talked about adding an online component. This has finally given us the incentive to actually do it. So now we have the capacity to do remote sessions across the Province! Contact Us if you’d like one for your team.
Plus, a few things that haven’t changed:
Professionalism, service and security. We’d actually planned for ways to service our clients remotely for a long time before this hit – many of the clients we work with we’ve never met face to face. This means having security systems in place for how data is secured – as well as processes in place to make sure that we can answer your questions and help no matter where you are!
Due diligence by insurance and financial providers. Underwriters are still taking care with every application to make sure that they have all the answers they need in order to provide you with contractually guaranteed insurance coverage. In some cases that means that some companies are deciding to hold off on approving some coverage until they can get health data – this generally depends on a combination of age, the amount of insurance, and general answers to health questions. A few, however, are still providing paramedical appointments in order to do this.
Strict licensing and professional development requirements. The ability to do non-face-to-face meetings doesn’t mean that anyone, anywhere is suddenly able to provide these services. In order to protect clients, there are strict licensing requirements provided by Provincial licensing bodies to regulate who is licensed to work with you. (As an example, most of our Advisors are licensed to work in Alberta and BC, and in one case, the NWT.)
What’s the takeaway? As in much of society, our industry has seen some strong changes come in effect. Although for the most part, we see these as positives – they’ve just been the nudge that moves some things along more quickly than they would have otherwise.
So, what do you think? Would you like to use one of these new ways to connect? Contact Us today to tell us more!