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NAIFA Members Provide Financial Independence

Consumer demand for access across multiple touchpoints is growing, with mobile apps making the biggest jump.

This is according to Hearts & Wallets, the data and analytics company that specializes in how consumers save, invest and seek financial advice.

The Wants & Pricing: Competition Heats Up as Consumers Seek Multi-Channel Access and Pricing Clarity quantitative report, which examines pricing trends and top customer wants for both firms and financial professionals, finds access-related attributes had the biggest jump in importance annually.

More Access, More Mobile

For customer wants, firm touchpoints saw the biggest year-over-year increases as consumers value multiple channels, according to the survey.

 Nationally, customers place growing importance on “has good mobile apps,” up 7 percentage points. Other touchpoints are also key, as the next largest year-over-year spikes are in “quality of online tools and research,” “local branch office is easy to get to,” and “quality of internet account access.”

Of the quarter (26%) of households nationally who consider mobile apps very important, two-thirds (63%) also place high importance on local branches. Apps do not displace human interactions, as nine out of 10 (91%) of consumers who place high importance on mobile apps also say being “easily reachable by telephone” is very important.

“Omni-channel access has been growing in importance, even before the spike in COVID-19-related calls,” Laura Vajras, CEO and founder of Hearts & Wallets, said. “Mobile apps are an additional channel, rather than a substitute for phone or branch accessibility, and offering multiple ways to connect is even more important during this time of crisis when consumers seek reassurance.”

Women have higher expectations than men across all 27 attributes, including an 11-percentage point difference for “easily reachable by telephone,” cited by 55% of women vs. 47% of men.

Pricing Confusion

Customers are more confused about pricing than in prior years, according to the survey. Only 25% of customers have a good understanding of how their providers earn money. In nearly one third (31%) of primary and secondary firm relationships, the customer does not know how they pay for saving and investing services, up 3 percentage points in one year.

Hearts & Wallets is a data and analytics firm that specializes in how consumers save, invest and seek financial advice. For more information visit www.heartsandwallets.com.







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