Advisor Group is launching a new financial planning-focused platform, eQuipt for Financial Planning, that could prove to be a competitor to Alan Moore and Michael Kitces’ fee-for-service payment platform, AdvicePay. The new system integrates with Advisor Group’s digital automated account onboarding platform, eQuipt.
The new service, eQuipt FP, emphasizes the need advisors have for fee-model flexibility. Built on Microsoft technology, key features of the platform include a contracting system that supports electronic signatures for financial planning or consulting services, integrated compliance tools—like plan storage, disclosure delivery and a consolidated check log—and a new payment platform that gives advisors more options for how to receive payment for their services. The platform also comes with third-party components from Stripe and Impact Financial Systems.
But it’s the support for a wider variety of fee models that stands out. One-time, periodically recurring or ongoing instances of client service will all be enabled by a Stripe-powered payment platform that can process credit and debit cards, as well as check payments.
Advisor Group’s launch of eQuipt FP comes as advisors are experimenting with fee models and income-based fees are being revisited. Flexibility in payments structure has even led to new startups, like AdvicePay, a fee-for-service payment platform that’s already added several new enterprise clients since its launch in January, including independent broker/dealer Cetera.
Advisor Group did not comment on whether eQuipt FP was designed to compete with AdvicePay.
Recognizing that advisors are demanding more advisor-centric technology, Matthew Schlueter, Advisor Group’s president of wealth management solutions, said the firm is committed to investing in new technology. “We re-examined the client life cycle, incorporated advisor feedback and re-imagined the experience to dramatically improve the end-to-end process for both clients and advisors,” he said. “The ways in which financial advice is delivered are constantly improving.”