Wells Fargo adds financial planning with a personal touch to its mobile app

The news: Wells Fargo will add a financial planning platform for wealth clients to its mobile app, per American Banker.

Wells Fargo will also roll out its AI-powered virtual assistant, Fargo, in April.

What does it do? The Life Sync platform will be available to wealth management clients on March 28 before rolling out to all client segments over the next year.

  • It lets customers specify their financial goals and personalize the app with pictures that represent their ambitions.
  • The platform’s “vitals” section combines market conditions and customers’ financial behavior to track their net worth, FICO score, portfolio performance, and credit card reward balances.
  • Life Sync will also contain a news feed with financial content on topics like asset allocation and a podcast that covers subjects like retirement and family financial planning.

How is it different? Most financial planning apps take a do-it-yourself approach—customers input their financial information, and the app tracks things like their balances without providing much actionable advice.

Wells Fargo believes Life Sync is different.

  • The digital platform is designed to encourage more frequent interactions between clients and advisors. Life Sync notifies advisors when their clients change their goals or enter new information. Customers can also call their advisor right from the platform.
  • The bank hopes the app will encourage people to share more details about their goals and their financial situation. Customers can add information that they may not have thought of during a standard meeting with their advisor.

Will it work? Life Sync could improve engagement and keep customers from moving to another bank. But the platform’s success will be determined by how well it’s executed.

  • Banks have struggled to provide the personalization customers are looking for. They crave quick, relevant, situational advice and guidance on specific actions they can take. With a financial advisor always connected, Life Sync could do just that.
  • But the platform could inundate advisors with customer inquiries. Advisors will need to discuss their availability with clients to set proper response-time expectations. Failing to set those expectations could end up driving frustrated customers away.
  • Clients’ ability to constantly change their goals may also need to be regulated. Gathering the most accurate information is vital to developing a successful financial plan, but too many or too drastic changes can make it tough for clients to stay on track and reach their goals.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence’s Banking Innovation Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the banking industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.