Platform provider Transact has outlined its tech support strategy for advisers and clients as part of its digitalisation programme.
It said the digital upgrade, which is 90% complete, will enhance adviser back-office processes and support advisers with their data tech integration.
The platform will be using one of its subsidiaries Time4Advice, which it purchased in January 2021, to provide an enhanced service to advisers.
Transact chief executive Jonathan Gunby spoke to Money Marketing about how that is progressing.
He said: “At the moment, advisers have to key in data to both the back office system and platform. We want to eradicate that and make things more efficient. So, we are going to be integrating data with Time4Advice using APIs. And having done that we would also make those data feeds available to other people.”
Gunby added that Transact supplies data to 50 software providers and will want “to get it absolutely right with a company we owned” before making it available to others.
He also said Transact is working closely with data hubs such as FINIO and Origo.
“We are in discussions with Finio. And we are a member of the Origo data integration hub. I think it’s fair to say that both of those services are in the early days.”
On the question of legacy tech, Gunby denied that Transact is being run on old systems.
He said Transact takes a different approach compared to competitors regarding its platform tech strategy.
“We do everything to avoid big bang changes. You’ve seen elsewhere where people have to do replatforming with often difficult scenarios. We avoid that.”
“What we do is release a version of a new code every four weeks. For a typical year we will rewrite 10 to 15% of the code. Every single month has 50 to 100 changes that are released. It’s a regular cycle. It’s all proprietary tech.”
“There has been a lot of talk about platforms using APIs, well we have used APIs since I joined for at least 12 years. We have our own APIs we use to distribute data to various third parties and obviously we used other people’s APIs notably HMRC. We are very API-savvy.”
The platform behemoth, which manages assets of c£50bn for thousands of clients, said it has better functionality compared to other platforms.
“We think our functionality is much richer than the majority. It might not always look the sexiest. Our approach is we try to keep the webpages relatively simple so they are not full of high coloured photographs or graphics spinning round. They are very functional,” Gunby said.
He denied that Transact has high administration costs from employing many people to do manual procedures.
“The vast majority of applications for portfolios and wrappers are all self-keyed. And they go straight into our system. Our personnel are helping advisers with all manner of things that could range from complicated transfer like consolidating four or five pension pots or death claims.”
He added: “The best way to think about this is if you take the cost and look at it as a percentage of the funds that you administer. We are looking after c£50bn and when we look at cost as percentage it’s something like 13 basis points.”
Gunby said Transact has fared better than its competitors in most of the research surveys that look at platform services for advisers.
Source: Money Marketing