The winner of XYPN’s fintech competition had an idea so good, it was purchased before it saw its first competition. Mineral Interactive’s next-generation prospecting and onboarding tool, Approach, was the winner chosen by a panel of three judges at XYPN’s fourth annual conference in St. Louis.
The company’s CEO, Jud Mackrill, is the CMO of Carson Group, a title he received after his marketing firm was purchased by Ron Carson earlier this year. The purchase was a strategic bet Carson Group made on “bringing in the next generation,” Carson said at the time. Carson Group now has a fintech competition winner they can showcase to the nearly 750 XYPN members, who have a median age of 38.
The Approach tool is a means for advisors to gather data on clients and prospects through a series of customizable questions on their websites. Advisors can change the colors of mastheads and white-label the product with their firm’s own branding. Inputs on the questionnaire range from basic contact information to risk tolerances and family information.
The tool is designed to help eliminate back-and-forth emails and calls, document sharing via insecure channels and jump start client-advisor meetings with to-the-point data on-hand for the advisor.
“Advisor websites generally suck at converting people,” Mackrill explained. Advisors should expect to have the tool up and running in 10 to 15 minutes, and it will be simple enough that tech support shouldn’t be a factor, he added. “If you aren’t designing software anymore so that people can completely do it themselves, then you’re doing it wrong.”
The tool can be molded to an advisor’s practice and used as a one-off or a core process, said Mackrill. As for integrations? “If we hear it enough, we’re going to do it,” he said of the third-party tools his team will link with. The tool can also be used to onboard additional advisors into a new firm.
“A lot of what we’re seeing on advisor technology innovation, now, is filling in rather large gaps in the advisor technology landscape,” XYPN co-founder Michael Kitces said. The judges, which included Kitces, FPPad.com founder Bill Winterberg and Jeff Merkel, co-founder of life insurance company Ladder, were impressed by Mineral Interactive’s two-pronged approach of using digital website marketing as an onboarding and data-gathering opportunity.
“There has been a gap in the marketplace that even all the robo-for-advisors’ platforms, frankly, are not solving. They’re only solving the account opening part,” added Kitces.
Joining the winner were five other fintech firms, presenting a variety of advisor solutions.
Instrumental Labs presented its tool, Payitoff, a student loan repayment tool designed to help an advisor chart the best student loan repayment path for their clients. The company moved the tool out of beta following a trial by 60 firms, founder Bobby Matson said.
Touchstone Pathway’s CEO and Founder Robert Bolen presented a client discovery, display and notification platform built around client surveys and behavioral finance.
Baxter Consulting presented its own client discovery and engagement system, Life Stage Insights, a service that outputs client survey information into a natural language-processed report that an advisor can use at planning sessions.
Take Command Health’s Founder, Jack Hooper, presented his health insurance assistance software and service, a potential value-add advisors could provide to clients anticipating a life event, such as a pregnancy. “We call it TurboTax for health insurance,” said Hooper. The tool includes the option of helping advisors to pick a health insurance option with their clients, or providing information that assists clients with making their own enrollment decisions.
Scott Huff presented the estate and legacy planning technology offered by his company, Yourefolio. Some of the product features include a stress-test for estate plans and gamification of beneficiary inheritance, a strategy Huff said could assist advisors interested in facilitating wealth transfers by smoothing over the onboarding of next-generation clients.