Two out of five people would be willing to complete online fact-finds before meeting with an adviser if that would reduce the cost of advice, according Prudential.
A survey of 4,088 consumers showed growing support for alternatives to traditional face-to-face meetings, with a number of companies already considering remote options.
Guardian Wealth Management is implementing a low-cost ‘Skype advice' service, with other advisers attempting to imitate the success of US start-up LearnVest that offers certified advice by email or phone.
Support for remote meetings with an adviser is stronger among the younger generation, with 39% of 18 to 34-year-olds saying they would be happy to receive financial advice on the phone or online or through a combination of phone and online, compared to 23% of 35 to 54-year-olds. The support reduces to just 15% among those aged 55 plus.
Russell Warwick, Prudential's distribution change director, said giving advice over the phone or online is "a logical progression" for advisers.
"We don't believe that an ‘all or nothing' approach is set to emerge but we do expect firms to start integrating non face-to-face aspects of client servicing into their models over time, as clients become more comfortable about receiving advice remotely.
"Providing these services can be run in a way that is cheaper than the face-to-face approach, it should free up advisers' time, making their businesses more efficient and enabling them to focus on securing new clients.
"Conducting annual reviews by phone, for example, would cut travel time which, when added up for all clients, could amount to hundreds of hours over the course of a year."
However, advisers face the task of making any remote offering cost-effective and in line with consumers' demands.
According to Prudential, 47% of people would expect the costs for an online or phone advice service to be at least half as much as a traditional face-to-face service.
‘Important to have an anchor’
Report to be written by TPR
Lack of innovation for solutions
Some 2,000 consumers affected