About 70 Australasian financial services firms – including banks, super funds, insurance advisers and financial planning firms – are currently using the award-winning, NZ-designed ‘virtual room’ system, SuiteBox.
Craig Meek, SuiteBox founder, said the client feedback has been “very positive” with more than 10 new enquiries each week.
Meek said the group – which released its product only a few months ago – was also in talks with financial services businesses in South Africa and the UK.
He said in addition to offering the convenience of ‘anywhere, anytime’ virtual meetings, SuiteBox has chimed well with the more rigorous compliance regimes emerging in financial services globally.
SuiteBox enables advisers to hold online video client meetings in a private ‘room’ with the ability to review and sign-off on documents with a legally-recognised digital signature.
Importantly, the system includes a video-recording feature – which clicks on automatically during the signing process but can be activated any time during the meeting – that Meek said provided a secure record of advice for reference and compliance purposes.
“Once it’s recorded, the video can’t be edited,” he said. “We expect that could be very useful during any disputes process.”
Meek said SuiteBox also planned to showcase its software with regulators, including the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Globally, regulators have been imposing significant new compliance duties on the financial services industry with advice and product sales drawing particular attention.
Last month, for example, the FMA released its ‘Sales and advice monitoring report’ that found “inconsistency in the quality and maturity of systems, and the practices in use across the industry”.
The FMA report, which zeroes in on 10 firms including banks and advisory businesses, highlights the dearth of “comprehensive compliance systems that can provide firms with reassurance that they are addressing all of their regulatory and conduct risks in sales and advice”.
Compliance and treatment of clients are also a focus of the current Financial Advisers Act (FAA) review in NZ. In Australia, the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) regime has also imposed tough new compliance duties on advisers.
Meek said while SuiteBox solved some compliance problems it also introduced flexibility and other workflow efficiencies into client-facing financial services businesses.
He said as the system was browser-based users did not have to download software.
“Businesses can also white-label SuiteBox with their own branding,” Meek said.
The service costs $49 per month per user with an unlimited storage capacity, he said.
SuiteBox was originally backed with an NZ government Callaghan Innovation fund. The system also scored a prize at the recent Afiniation financial technology innovation awards in Sydney.
Meek said SuiteBox had been asked to present at the exclusive UK fintech showcase event, Finovate, next year.