Remote advice made easy

Previous itemBLKB digital consultingNext item

The problem with most investment advisory services is the fact that customers cannot access them outside their bank’s normal business hours. What makes the job of investment advisors even harder is that this tends to be precisely when their existing and prospective clients are at work too. The Baselland Cantonal Bank decided the time had come to make its investment advisory services fit for 21st century investors.

The essential ingredients for a sound investment strategy are competent advice from a well-qualified analyst and charts or graphs that clearly illustrate how the complex financial products suggested by the analyst work and how they are likely to perform. Ideally, the client should be able to access these over an interactive, intuitive and streamlined interface. As well as keeping everything as simple as possible, the Baselland Cantonal Bank (BLKB) was keen to ensure that its new online service could be adapted in line with any changes to the constantly evolving regulatory system.

Advice anytime, anywhere

Modern web technologies and the internet have rendered geographical distances irrelevant. Liip AG designed and developed an interactive web application for BLKB that leverages this potential to the max. First, the web app shows the advantages of BLKB Swiss Dynamic Allocation Funds in an interactive way; BLKB customers can then run through various scenarios with their advisor, deal with questions and find out about investment products, no matter where they are or what time of day it is.
At the end of 2015, BLKB added a second web app to its e-consultancy platform, offering advice on private pension plans, or Pillar 3a as it is more commonly known in Switzerland. The new tool makes it easier for BLKB advisors to visualise and plan the savings targets of their customers. Also, advisors and customers are able to include a host of different components when putting together their retirement savings plan.

The development of a web application was an obvious choice, as it lets customer advisors to work anytime, anywhere, and is easily accessible to all users. Thanks to the web application, BLKB can offer its customers a new form of investment advisory. For the BLKB, the primary concern is maximising customer value. This novel hybrid advisory solution means that customers are no longer tied down by their bank’s opening hours and save valuable time by not having to physically go to their local branch.

Successful trial run

Customer experience was a top priority for the BLKB during the development process. A trial run of this new hybrid advisory solution went extremely well. Existing and potential customers of all ages who tried out the web application rated it positively. They particularly appreciated the freedom and flexibility it offered, as well as the possibility of sending questions directly to the advisor. Buoyed by the favourable feedback, the BLKB decided to take the application a step further.

Investment advisors also welcomed the web application. Following the official roll-out of the hybrid advisory solution, the BLKB’s investment advisors were inundated with queries from customers either via the application or over the phone. The BLKB discovered another advantage of their new app – customers could get the same high-quality and extensive advice in half the time, and even less if you factor in the time they save by not having to physically go to and from the bank!

Technology

Not only does the web app offer total portability, it can also be used on any device, including iPads. This is because Liip used Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) rather than Flash Player to create the dynamic and interactive charts, which can be continually updated with the latest BLKB data. Furthermore, the Unblu co-browsing function, which is used as a third-party application, means that the advisor is able to view exactly the same page as the client, and both can see each other’s mouse pointers.

Liip developed the web application using open source software: Silex for the framework and the platform-independent JavaScript library Backbone.js. The modular architecture gives the application high extensibility, and a white-label solution is all that it is needed for the framework to be used in other BLKB web applications. The BLKB is now well and truly prepared for the future!

BLKB

«We’ve enjoyed working with Liip on this project. We firmly believe that Liip is the perfect partner to make sure that our new innovative advisory service remains focused on the customer.»

Additional details