While mutual fund companies in general are not embracing mobile technologies to the degree that banks, credit cards and self-directed brokerages are, Vanguard and TIAA-CREF stand out in terms of its offering research and trades via mobile devices, according to Corporate Insight.
This is one of the key findings in Corporate Insight’s new report, “Money on the Move: Mobile Finance Review 2011,” which details the industry leaders and best practices in the mobile finance space as well as the findings of a survey of asset management executives on their plans for mobile technologies in the future.
Vanguard offers clients the ability to trade the firm’s mutual funds, as well as access information for a variety of account types, including brokerage, as well as to research investments. In addition to a mobile-optimized website and iPhone app, Vanguard recently introduced an iPad app.
Corporate Insight said that TIAA-CREF is one of the few asset management firms to offer access to client accounts, funds and commentary via mobile. The firm also integrates a number of educational tools and calculators in its app.
iShares, Legg Mason, TIAA-CREF and Vanguard provide podcasts and/or videos to help educate clients and keep them informed of market trends and analysis, Corporate Insight added.
“The benefits offered by a strong mobile platform are clear,” said Dan Wiegand, senior analyst at Corporate Insight and author of the report. “By embracing mobile, companies can reduce servicing costs, improve client satisfaction and position themselves as industry innovators. While the logistics of mobile finance pose an array of development, support and security challenges to financial services, firms, there’s no denying that we have entered the mobile era. Financial service firms do not want to be left behind.”