Local fintech firm Invsta has secured a breakthrough deal and signed its first Australian customer as it expands through New Zealand and beyond.
After seeing how their solutions are helping Kiwi financial service businesses navigate digital disruption in the post-pandemic landscape, founders Rachel Strevens and Abhy Singla are excited about the opportunity Australia presents given the much larger size of the financial services market.
Invsta started in 2016, when Strevens and Singla combined their financial and technology backgrounds to develop solutions for the investment and wealth management industry. The inspiration for Invsta dates back to when Strevens worked as a wealth advisor. “I worked with large institutions and got frustrated with archaic systems and poor customer facing technology,” Strevens says.
With a promise to deliver better financial experiences, Invsta’s suite of integrated B2B modules help fund managers, wealth advisers and KiwiSaver providers to improve investor access and engagement, streamline compliance, and automate key administration tasks.
Strevens notes that many companies were confronted with the sudden need to put digital strategies and tools in place when COVID-19 lockdowns went into effect. “When it hit, investment markets were very volatile,” Strevens says. “Fund managers and wealth advisors had to manage moving into remote working and guide investors through the sharemarket chaos. Once the sharemarket volatility eased off, companies focused on filling the gap to serving customers online.”
The result: Invsta has seen a surge in local enquiries as companies seek to digitise their operations, provide a more engaging and streamlined online experience and access new market segments.
“COVID-19 has had the effect of condensing years of digitalisation into months, and financial service providers are now scrambling to implement technology and digital solutions that will enable them to better operate and compete in an online world,” Strevens says. “Our tools also help improve access to investment advice and boost the financial literacy for investors, helping more Kiwis to save and make better investment decisions.”
The wider context behind making investment more efficient and accessible: Right now, we’re seeing the biggest generational transfer of wealth of all time sweep the globe.
Strevens points to research from asset management analytics firm, Cerulli Associates, which recently estimated that $US48trillion will pass from Baby Boomers to their Generation X and millennial children. Recent research from Capgemini found that only 33% of younger high net worth individuals are satisfied with current online offerings, which may be why Cerulli Associates expect that 80% of these heirs will change wealth advisors after inheriting their parents’ wealth. It’s a worrying statistic that indicates wealth and asset managers need to better align their business models to stay relevant to the changing customer dynamics.
Strevens adds that technology has made it more feasible for wealth providers to service new customer segments across the wealth spectrum.
“Going to an investment advice company has been very expensive until now. Wealth providers aren’t typically set up to deal with smaller investment amounts,” Strevens says. “The new focus is on the emerging investor group and the demographic shifts within this segment – how do providers attract and service this segment in a personalised way at scale, without doing the traditional face-to-face model? It’s quite a transition in the industry.”
Client onboarding has until now been one of the least efficient aspects in investing, Singla says. “Previously, if a fund manager or wealth advisor wants to open a new client account, it involves manually processing and completing a lengthy form which could take weeks to complete, creating a barrier for many potential clients.” Singla, Invsta’s CTO, indicates that a digital onboarding solution helps companies to onboard their customers in a matter of minutes as manual paperwork is replaced by instant, digital verification.
Invsta’s digital platform enables financial service providers of all sizes to quickly and cost effectively implement the latest technology solutions. With a purpose to power better financial experiences, Invsta’s range of digital tools are built with the end investor in mind, providing a platform for them to engage with their investments through an interactive client portal.
So what’s next for Invsta? Strevens indicates that the “focus at the moment is very much on empowering local Kiwi wealth and asset managers. We still see a large gap in the market here, and are excited to bring change to the industry in Aotearoa.” After signing their first Australian customer, Strevens hints that a trans-Tasman expansion is imminent.