CI’s brokerage team recently published a Full-Service Brokerage Overview report that identified the biggest industry UX trends over the previous twelve months. The report sought to identify how and where brokerage firms improved their digital experiences. Our research team reported on several redesigns to public and secure brokerage sites, with firms focusing on better graphics, improved security options and stronger account servicing capabilities. In addition to reports, CI’s researchers also track digital changes to brokerage firms’ public and secure websites on an ongoing weekly basis. This week-in, week-out tracking allows our researchers to catch important details as they happen, creating an outline of the industry and identifying the most important trends as they appear.

Borrowing from that recent report, here we’ll detail three of these most recent, most important changes and trends in the full-service brokerage space below:

Several Firms Conducted Extensive Site Redesigns

Clients have higher and higher expectations for digital experiences from their brokerage firms. These expectations are now rising so quickly that firms are continually redesigning and upgrading their sites. Firms want to attract clients, improve overall user experience and add cutting edge capabilities. These changes continue to happen faster and faster. This year, our brokerage research team saw UBS Wealth Management and RBC Wealth Management redesign their public sites. The redesigns focused on navigation menu changes, but both firms also added new and redesigned pages over the course of several months. More specifically, UBS reorganized its main navigation menu options, focusing on new and redesigned pages that better explain the firm’s products and its investment philosophy. Similarly, RBC improved its main navigation and updated numerous public and secure site pages to feature a more uniform format and style.

This screenshot shows updated navigation from UBS
UBS Wealth Management Updated Public Site Homepage

 

This screenshot shows the redesigned homepage from RBC wealth
RBC Wealth Management New Public Site Homepage

Three Firms Enhanced Their Secure Site Graphic Displays

Interactive charts and graphs can transform static spreadsheets into a digital experience. It follows that the graphic options on a firm’s secure site can make or break the client experience. Graphics allow clients to visualize and interact with important information, creating an easier-to-understand experience compared to table after table of difficult-to-parse datasets. Our researchers saw several brokerage firms concentrate on updating their graphic display options over the last year. UBS stands out for adding several new graphic displays as well as updating most existing displays throughout the site, including its asset allocation display.

This screenshot shows the Asset Allocation tab on UBS Wealth's secure site
UBS Wealth Management Updated Secure Site Portfolio Page – Asset Allocation Intrapage Tab

Value-over-time graphs are also increasingly popular. Edward Jones added a dynamic value-over-time graph to its secure site homepage, allowing clients to visualize their account value over a customizable given timeframe. Morgan Stanley similarly allows its clients to view their account value over four preset timeframes: last 90 days, year to date, last 12 months, and the previous year.

This screenshot shows a chart available on Morgan Stanley's secure site
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Secure Site Individual Account Page Balances Tab – Balances Chart

Firms continue to improve account security and login

Across all industries, cybersecurity has become a growing concern since the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased importance of digital channels. According to Surfshark, the United States had about 14,781,411 data security breaches in the third quarter of 2022 alone. In response to this ever-increasing threat, several firms added new security capabilities and options over the past year. (Note that CI notes only the availability of security options, and not their effectiveness.) For example, RBC added a Login History tile to its secure site security center, allowing clients to see the last 10 login attempts to their accounts. This enables clients to self-identify any suspicious login attempts.

This screenshot shows the login history for a RBC Wealth Management secure site
RBC Wealth Management New Secure Site Login History Tile

Firms also made improvements to the login process. UBS Wealth Management updated its login protocols by adding a QR code app login feature that allows clients to log in through a QR code scan. The firm also provided a Watch Demo link leading to an instructional video on how to use QR codes, as many users may be unfamiliar with this technology.

This screenshot shows UBS's updated login page
UBS Wealth Management Updated Login Page

For more on our full-service brokerage service research, as well as our research on digital brokerage and other investment verticals, check out our Insights page. Or learn more about how CI’s subscription and custom research services can help your organization improve its digital experiences.

Katelyn Jones

Katelyn Jones is an analyst on CI's asset management team.