The lang cat's Mark Polson is impressed by Assureweb's new protection app. And not just because it makes him look cool…
After spending a few columns looking at web services and platforms, it is time to focus on a much smaller format. I have spent the last little while peering myopically at my iPhone’s screen and checking out some of the apps out there that are trying to take financial services real-time.
Our first subject is Assureweb’s mobile protection app. Just search for Assureweb on the App Store – it is free to download. There isn’t an Android version yet. We will get into detail about what it does and does not do in a moment, but first let’s have a think about what these tools are actually for.
What’s the point?
The point of tablets and smartphones in business is firstly to look cool. There is no point pretending otherwise. Nothing says “I may be in a grey suit but my soul is that of a graphic designer! I wear fashionable spectacles! I yearn to be free!” better than a shiny new iDevice.
The lang cat’s Mark Polson reviews Assureweb’s new protection app
The second reason is to bring more of the advisory practice into the client’s living room.
By demonstrating, for example, how small changes in regular saving can make large changes to final fund values or how changing risk level alters the range of potential outcomes, clients can participate more in the process.
Although much of the juice in app development seems to be in the pure planning area, Assureweb’s offering plays an equally interesting role. It is, in effect, a quick quote app, pulling back results from eight protection providers on level term, decreasing term or family income benefit assurance. The providers covered are listed on the Assureweb site for anyone interested.
And when I say quick quote, I mean it. I tested the app in a range of settings and logged its speed in returning results, from in-home superfast broadband (close to instant) to halfway up the West Coast mainline using 3G (about 30-40 seconds).
That is not bad at all, and certainly suggests it is plenty fast enough for use with clients in their homes, unless they live up the proverbial tree in the Trossachs (in which case they have bigger problems than life cover).
In terms of the user interface, it is all standard iOS stuff, with the spinning reels for date entry and cover basis and everything else being pretty intuitive.
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Short-term noise or something sinister?