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Scivantage Appeals to Next Gen Investors with New Platform

To attract young investors, banks and brokerages need to build towards an engaging user-experience.

Generation X and Y investors are pushing for bar on traditional brokerage offerings by demanding the best tools, savvy interfaces and intuitive workflows for their online investment experience.

Unlike the more brand-loyal boomer generation, Gen X and Y are marked for their willingness to jump around to more tech-savvy competitors, leaving institutions scrambling to keep pace with their online investing capabilities and provide more convenient services.

On Wednesday, financial technology provider Scivantage announced the launch of a next-generation platform, Scivantage Investor, for institutions to meet those complex online investment needs. The platform offers flexible user-centered design architecture and a number of features institutions can employ to stay on the cutting edge.

[For more on next-generation preferences, read: Expect More Banks to Adopt Self-Directed Brokerage Channels ]

Notable features include "Quick Trade," which allows a user to trade from anywhere on the site. "Tagging and User Personalization" creates customized data views and tag specific records based on users’ terms, creating a personalized screen view. "Portfolio At-a-Glance" displays aggregated data sets across accounts in a single view, giving users performance perspectives and the ability to monitor their asset allocation across multiple portfolios, according to the press release.

Data visualization is a key trend," explains Chris Psaltos, VP of product management at Scivantage. "While the ability to drill down is important, heat maps and graphics summarize data to give users an idea of the status with just a glance"

Brand Identity

To help keep existing clients and attract Generation X and Y traders banks have been challenged to deliver a more personalized, online investment experience to their clients. While eager to do so, they also want to meet the needs without compromising their brands.

While users can be said to care more about whether a feature works than its design, Psaltos says many banks are trying to make sure the functions don't supersede the brand.

[To hear about how financial firms are managing their complex data architectures, attend the Future of the Financial Services Data Center panel at Interop 2014 in Las Vegas, March 31-April 4. You can also REGISTER FOR INTEROP HERE.]

"While flexibility has always been a core capability for Scivantage products, one of the big challenges for Scivantage has traditionally been managing expectations around what the application should look like from a branding perspective rather than from a functional or usability perspective," he explains. "It is more about creating a unified interface and look and feel than it is about any particular feature. By incorporating User Centered Design methodology, we are leaving the usability to the users. With that said, Scivantage Investor's new architecture provides even more flexibility for clients to address the front-end design and brand challenges.”

A Full Ecosystem

The firms involved in the active investor space are in an arms race competing for the lucrative user. They are competing for younger and affluent clients with the links of Think or Swim or TradeMonster, giving brokerages a desire to adopt technology more readily than perhaps second tier "wait and see" groups.

From Psaltos' perspective, the back end of most financial trading institutions hasn't changed in years, and when they do change it's about pricing and offering, not so much about the technology offered. "Our goal has been to help clients create a full ecosystem of tools that gives them the ability to create a great, unified user experience that is "on brand" and will attract new investors and drive the business." "We're excited about this launch," he adds. "There's certainly been a large amount of time and investment into getting Scivantage Investor where it is today. We're thrilled about taking it to the next level and getting clients onto the full next-generation platform." Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio

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IvySchmerken
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IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
3/12/2014 | 2:41:08 PM
re: Scivantage Appeals to Next Gen Investors with New Platform
Yes, this is a good analogy. Disney hooks your child on the ads for its products so parents will be buying Disney toys and princess accessories for years to come. But in a few years they will outgrow their Disney obsession and move onto to other channels and shows. Brokers that attract Gen Y to investing are offering a skill that can stay with them for a lifetime.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
3/12/2014 | 12:34:06 AM
re: Scivantage Appeals to Next Gen Investors with New Platform
very true, and this is a valid point for marketing in any industry. If you get 'em hooked early, you have a good chance of keeping them for life. Kind of like how when my daughter is watching her shows on the Disney Junior channel, they promote the living daylights out of every other Disney product during commercials.
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/11/2014 | 3:36:09 PM
re: Scivantage Appeals to Next Gen Investors with New Platform
It's a small but growing market. The same was said about Gen X a decade ago (why focus on Gen X ... they don't invest?).

Also, we know that customers rarely change financial services providers once they are on board. So, if a firm can get an Gen Y investor on board, they will likely keep them for a long time.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
3/6/2014 | 7:49:26 PM
re: Scivantage Appeals to Next Gen Investors with New Platform
Another way to look at it, the E*Trades of the world have an average customer age north of 60 are really starting to shift their focus to the incoming clients - they are the ones inheriting the wealth - so they want to know how to keep that money in their accounts. Get ahead of the game before niche providers (like my old company, Kapitall) swoop in and claim the market.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
3/6/2014 | 5:34:04 PM
re: Scivantage Appeals to Next Gen Investors with New Platform
I'll never underestimate Gen Y again...
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
3/6/2014 | 5:31:10 PM
re: Scivantage Appeals to Next Gen Investors with New Platform
Don't underestimate this market. They are not here in full force but they are coming with savings, inheritance and all sorts of expectations. They've also been told they need to start young - and they do. For many, paying off student loans is AS important as putting money aside in savings. There are waves of younger investors trying to be responsible in this way. Institutions need to be ready for them and get them signed up early. This is not a market they can hold off on, especially as the traditional older market winds down.
IvySchmerken
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IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
3/6/2014 | 3:06:44 PM
re: Scivantage Appeals to Next Gen Investors with New Platform
If Gen Y investors are fortunate to find a job, they may get introduced to investing through their company 401k plans. I wouldn't sell Gen Y investors short (no pun intended). I read about a high school student who trade options (not sure if this is legal) who made a fortune on Twitters IPO. Granted, this is the exception and not the rule, but Gen Y is probably more investor savvy than we all realize. I agree that user experience (UX) is a priority for brokerage firms to capture this demographic who are used to using Facebook and other social media sites.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
3/6/2014 | 1:45:58 AM
re: Scivantage Appeals to Next Gen Investors with New Platform
This sounds like a good platform, but I have to ask, are there that many Gen Y investors out there? I don't say this to be condescending or contrary or anything like that, just legitimately wondering how big a market it is. I would assume most in Gen Y people would be more concerned with paying off student loans and/or finding a job before they can get to investing.
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