Picture an ideal investment robo-advisor and these things would probably come to mind: provides easy-to-understand content, unbiased investment advice, cost-effective solutions, ongoing support, ease of use and ability to manage the account from anywhere, any time. This is exactly the vision of HSBC Bank Canada when it created HSBC Wealth Compass, a wealth management solution that combines the simplicity of a robo investment journey with the full advice service of a human advisor.
HSBC Bank Canada wants to improve wealth penetration in its client base, especially among middle-aged households building assets during high obligation years and those preparing for retirement. In addition, they want to continue to leverage digital as a lower-cost channel and meet clients’ preferences over in-person services.
Soft-launched in 2018, with a journey, focused on opening new accounts, limited to 3 of the most popular options in Canada: a retirement savings account (RRSP), a tax-free savings account (TFSA) and a non-registered account, it has now evolved into a robust system where clients can go online to add money from their bank account, transfer investments from other financial institutions and redeem funds. Transactions and new account applications can also be submitted at any time of day.
Without a doubt, receiving the award, Best Robo Advisory Experience at the Digital CX Awards 2021 organised by The Digital Banker, comes as no surprise anymore.
“HSBC Wealth Compass is a wealth management solution that combines the simplicity of a robo investment journey with the full advice service of a human advisor.”
“HSBC Wealth Compass is an online investment journey designed to deepen the relationship and grow wealth penetration with HSBC Bank Canada’s existing clients. Leveraging the digital channel, it creates customer delight with low-cost investment solutions that remove the complexity of investing from the user experience, while increasing productivity and sales effectiveness for advisors,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.
HSBC Wealth Compass
HSBC Wealth Compass is designed for clients with simple wealth needs who are comfortable receiving advice and investing online. The choice to focus on existing bank clients as the target audience was deliberate and allowed HSBC Bank Canada to create a number of efficiencies in the journey and process, which benefit both the clients and the bank.
HSBC Bank Canada leveraged technology to create a user-friendly investment experience by adapting the branch-based discovery questionnaire for collecting investor preferences and attitudes towards risk to deliver an easy to understand, unbiased investment recommendation on the spot. The digital channel allowed the Bank to do things differently from the traditional branch process, with the use of plain language, visuals, help text, and prompts, to ensure all key information was presented and disclosure/compliance requirements were met in a way that the client could relate to and understand.
The team had also been able to streamline the application and transaction experience, from single sign-on login using Online Banking credentials, to retrieving and enabling updates to information on file which simplified the application process and ensures data accuracy.
“The choice to focus on existing bank clients as the target audience was deliberate and allowed HSBC Canada to create a number of efficiencies in the journey and process, which benefit both the clients and the bank.”
They’ve also designed a system that pre-populates all required forms for online signatures, which eliminated deficiencies and made the entire end-to-end experience a real time saver for both clients and the Bank.
Before this product, clients were limited to opening accounts in person following a process that could take 60-90 minutes. Now, with HSBC Wealth Compass, account opening can be done in a few minutes, fully online before being reviewed to fulfil KYC requirements.
Excellent Financial Performance
HSBC Wealth Compass has appealed to a wide range of investors, including its original target segment, new-to-bank and younger demographics. It has also become an additional tool for some of the Bank’s wealthier clients to diversify their investments and benefit from the convenience of the online channel.
The conversion rate from the HSBC Wealth Compass landing page to account application submission is well above internal and external benchmarks, as is the conversion rate post log on, evidence that the journey is easy to follow and complete for all customers.
Conversion rates for the various subsequent transaction journeys are within the range forecast which indicates clients are comfortable adding and redeeming funds online and find the product easy to use regularly.
No wonder this initiative delivered a strong financial performance for the Bank with Wealth sales more than doubling over the previous year.
Productivity of the advisors who review applications and transactions has also increased compared to the average branch-based advisor.
As the percentage of clients who open accounts with a regular investment plan using this channel is double that of the branch channel, it has resulted in healthier investment habits that will likely translate into healthier financial positions for HSBC Bank Canada’s clients over time.