Moneyfarm, one of Europe’s leading robo advisors has announced the next stage in its development will be the creation of what it calls its own artificial intelligence personal banker.
The company has bought the technology behind a personal finance chatbot called Ernest, which uses Facebook Messenger to connect to an individual’s bank account.
Ernest uses a combination of natural language processing technology and machine learning to interact with users; it can answer questions and give customers proactive notifications to help them manage their money and their investments.
Moneyfarm says the technology that powers Ernest taps into and interprets customers’ daily transactional behaviour; over time this will allow the company to deliver more personalised financial advice that considers broader spending habits.
In announcing its latest development, CEO of Moneyfarm, Giovanni Daprà, said: ‘Artificial intelligence and a conversational user interface will help us to improve our algorithms and ultimately offer a better solution to our customers.
As we work to integrate the Ernest technology across our product offering, we’ll be able to assist over an individual’s full wealth lifecycle, from the first pay cheque through to retirement.’
we’ll be able to assist over an individual’s full wealth lifecycle, from the first pay cheque through to retirement
Launched in Italy in March 2011, Moneyfarm was Europe’s first robo advisor and today is one of its largest with more than 150,000 active users; regulated by the FCA and Banca d’Italia Moneyfarm has so far raised more than £20m from investors, including a significant stake from Allianz.
Based upon information provided during the application process algorithms within Moneyfarm’s platform identify one of six model portfolios of exchange traded funds (ETFs) appropriate to the client’s financial objectives and risk profile and automatically invest on their behalf; unlike many of its competitors Moneyfarm serves up genuine financial advice.
This move is another example of how robo advisors are moving beyond the accumulation of wealth and developing broader based, wealthtech, propositions. More here.
It is certain that technology will increasingly play a part in allowing people to manage their financial lives and regardless of the method of its delivery, the need for sound financial advice remains crucial.
Whilst the challenges facing the start up robo advisors are well documented, particularly around the high cost of client acquisition, a large number of traditional life companies, banks and fund managers are looking to add robo advice to their product suite, with the benefit of being able to market to a large number of existing customers.
Recent announcements have seen Aviva take a controlling stake in robo advisor Wealthify (more) with a view to adding robo advice to its MyAviva platform, BlackRock taking a large minority stake in Scalable Capital (more) and LV taking a majority stake in automated pension advice firm Wealth Wizards (more).