Amazon
Is There An Amazon of Financial Services in Australia?
November 28, 2017 .

In case you hadn’t noticed – Amazon has arrived in Australia. While some retailers are shaking in their boots – others don’t see it as much of a threat.

Whatever your view is, buyers the world over turn to Amazon for retail. There are 6 things that make it so successful:

  • The convenience of shopping from anywhere, any time
  • Low cost of purchase
  • A broad range of retail sub-categories eg shoes, clothes, electrical, food, cosmetics, jewellery, toys etc.
  • An even broader range of products within each category
  • Personalised recommendations based on other information that Amazon knows about you
  • Implementation, allowing you to complete your purchase with the click of a few buttons

Given the timing – we thought it is a perfect time to ask the question – Is There an Amazon of Financial Services in Australia? Here are some of the contenders:

Comparison Sites

Sites such as finder.com.au allow you compare lots of products online.  Looking at our criteria:

  • Convenience – Yes!  Being an online service, comparison sites are always available.  We give them 5 out of 5.
  • Cost – You can compare fees and then select the most affordable.  5 out of 5.
  • Broad range of categories –   These sites typically cover loans and insurance.  They often don’t cover superannuation or investments.  3 out of 5.
  • A broad range of products within each category – You certainly can’t fault the range of products that comparison sites cover.  5 out of 5.
  • Personalised Recommendations – Comparison sites are just that.  They compare things.  Don’t ask them for any recommendations.  1 out of 5.
  • Online Fulfilment – Comparison sites will direct you to a financial institution.  From there you are on your own.  1 out of 5.

Total:  20 out of 30.

Financial GPS

Financial GPS is a new a breed of Financial Services allowing you to get holistic wealth advice digitally, Plenty is an example of this type of service:

  • Convenience – Plenty is always there, 24 x 7.  5 out of 5.
  • Cost – Plenty itself is free, and will recommend the lowest cost option that meets your needs.  5 out of 5.
  • Broad range of categories –  Plenty covers loans, insurance, super and investments.  5 out of 5.
  • A broad range of products within each category – While Plenty will only provide one recommendation in each category, it will be the one most suited to you  And Plenty will have considered all the available products in making the recommendation.  3 out of 5.
  • Personalised Recommendations – Every recommendation is tailored to your situation.  5 out of 5.
  • Online Fulfilment – Where the institution allows online fulfilment (eg super) then Plenty will do it.  If not, Plenty makes the process as painless as possible (eg insurance).  4 out of 5.

Total:  27 out of 30

Robo-Adviser

A robo adviser provides investment advice online.

  • Convenience – Robo-advisers also offer 24×7 convenience.  5 out of 5.
  • Cost – Generally lower cost than human advisers, and recommend low cost products.  4 out of 5.
  • Broad range of categories –  Robo-Advisers limit their advice to investments only.  1 out of 5.
  • A broad range of products within each category – Robo-advisers usually restrict their investment universe to just Exchange Traded Funds.  3 out of 5.
  • Personalised Recommendations – Every recommendation is tailored to your situation.  5 out of 5.
  • Online Fulfilment – Everything can be done online.  5 out of 5.

Total:  23 out of 30

Human financial adviser/broker

Suppose you decided to see a human financial adviser who doubles as a mortgage broker.

  • Convenience – You will have to fit in with the adviser.  2 out of 5.
  • Cost – Financial advice is expensive.  1 out of 5.
  • Broad range of categories –  A good financial adviser will cover debt, insurance, super and investments.  5 out of 5.
  • A broad range of products within each category – A good adviser will have access to most products in each category.  5 out of 5.
  • Personalised Recommendations – Every recommendation is tailored to your situation.  5 out of 5.
  • Online Fulfilment – Time to chop down a tree or two.  2 out of 5.

Total:  20 out of 30.

Conclusion

While there are lots of options out there, the closest thing we have to Amazon in the financial services space are Financial GPS based services such as Plenty.

What do you think?  Can you think of any Australian financial services business that would score more than 27 out of 30?

The information contained on this page is of a general nature and may not be appropriate for your personal circumstances. You should obtain personal financial advice before acting on this information.

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