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Building Trust with Investors Starts with Protecting Their Personal Data
• Sarah Miller • December 15, 2020
If you’ve been living in the modern world for any amount of time, you’ve learned cybercriminals are waiting for us to let our guard down for just a moment so they can steal our personal data.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that in the United States last year, there were more than 3.2 million cases of fraud, 650,572 cases of identity theft, and over 270,000 cases of credit card fraud.1 Security breaches like the one suffered by Capital One in 2019—the largest of the year—exposed over 100 million consumers’ personal data to anyone with nefarious intentions and an internet connection.2
Consumers are rightfully wary of when and where they part with the digits that make their worlds go round. So, if you see a raised eyebrow when you ask for the background information needed for planning, realize that a little bit of empathy around your clients’ fears will go a long way.
In fact, the seemingly mundane aspect of protecting sensitive data, and articulating to clients exactly how that is done, is an important part of the enterprise’s relationship with its clients.
The Data Privacy Disconnect
Investors—especially those in younger generations—have clear expectations around privacy, transparency, and the exchange of value for the information they share. In a recent eMoney survey3, one investor commented that they had “deep concerns over privacy loss and being hacked—I hope companies are more in tune with ways to prevent this.”
Of course, enterprises get this at the business level, but they may not get exactly how important privacy and data protection is to their individual clients. In that same survey, investors said data privacy ranked second for them in terms of importance, just behind the life stage financial planning. Advisors, on the other hand, ranked “data privacy” as the fifth most important part of the services they provide clients, behind life stage financial planning, values-based financial planning, total well-being and the advisor as life coach.
When Back-office Functions Take Center Stage
Technology and back-office functions are not usually top-of-mind when forging a new relationship with an investor, but they should be. These typically unsung heroes of the enterprise will lay the groundwork for building trust that leads to deeper relationships with clients. Demonstrating your capabilities in these areas can be a differentiator.
The enterprise’s security capabilities show you can meet investor expectations, especially among younger generations that are keenly aware of cybersecurity threats. Promote the security measures involved in both the process and the technology, and share details of your protocols with clients to create comfort. It’s important to educate clients on how they can protect their data within your portal as well.
Explain how their sensitive data is protected during the planning process and that your enterprise will never use data aggregation services that sell their personal information or share it with an unauthorized third party. Enterprises should also understand their platform provider’s data security and risk management policies.
Each of these strategies will help establish deeper levels of client trust. Proactively addressing client concerns about security and privacy can also help establish a foundation of goodwill and trust right from the beginning of a relationship.
While clients will seek you out for financial advice, they come to the table with high expectations for data protection and privacy. Meeting these evolving expectations will support broader goals of building deeper, more productive planning relationships that revolve around more than just an investment portfolio.
1. Daly, Lyle. “Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud Statistics for 2020.” The Motley Fool, 2020. April 13. https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/research/identity-theft-credit-card-fraud-statistics/.
2. Flitter, Emily, and Karen Weise. “Capital One Data Breach Compromises Data of Over 100 Million.” The New York Times, 2019. July 29. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/29/business/capital-one-data-breach-hacked.html.
3. eMoney Power to the Plan Research, July 2020, Advisors n=420, End clients n=403.
DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.
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