Digital Platforms Empower Investors through Control, Convenience and Confidence

The pandemic may have changed how we use technology, and ultimately how we manage our finances.

Throughout the pandemic, people increasingly relied on digital platforms, such as websites, apps and videoconferencing tools, for work and personal activities. At the same time, organizations improved their online customer experiences by embedding new technologies, making investments, and accelerating enhancements to respond to increased digital traffic. These advances often came with the goal of nudging people’s everyday choices and behaviors as well as improving consumer decision-making.

It appears to be working. Companies are interacting with customers through digital channels more than ever. In fact, in the U.S. 65% of customer interactions were digital in nature in July 2020, up from just 41% in December 2019, according to McKinsey research. It would have taken three years to see this increase under prior digital adoption rates.

Interactions with financial companies were no exception. In a recent survey of U.S. investors, Vanguard found that digital engagement for completing financial activities is strong. Roughly 70% of respondents reported they are comfortable conducting financial business online, and more than half (53%) are comfortable doing most of their investing online. Further, 60% of respondents prefer conducting financial activities online over other methods, such as in-person transactions and phoning customer service.

Survey participants cite a plethora of benefits to engaging with their money digitally, which primarily boil down to a sense of control and the ability to save time. Specifically, investors cited saving time (81%), the ability to conduct financial business at any time (75%), and faster access to their money (67%) as reasons investors prefer digital engagement.

Advantages such as the ability to transact business in real-time and broad accessibility of online financial websites allow people to take many financial interactions into their own hands. More control (47%) and more responsiveness (38%) also ranked among the top benefits of digital engagement. Whether simply checking the performance of specific stocks or interacting with their 401(k) investments,…