Data Collection for Brokers

Background of Brokers

Brokers have played an integral role in financial services here in the US for decades. The activities of brokers have become increasingly more diverse over the past forty years as technology and regulations have changed. Innovations have created entirely new financial services, such as digital payments, and have made more traditional services, such as insurance, far more accessible. 

With the dramatic growth in both the scale and diversity of financial services, brokers play an even more essential role in getting providers of financial services in contact with those looking to purchase financial services. The pace of innovation remains incredibly high in financial services, and more than ever before, brokers need to be on the cutting edge to be successful

Types of Financial Services Brokers

Credit Brokers

These brokers enable financial institutions to evaluate the suitability of clients for credit more effectively. Brokers also assist clients in finding the credit that works best for them and finding a mutually beneficial relationship between them and their financial institution of choice. 

Stock Brokers

One of the recognizable forms of brokers is that stock brokers buy and sell stocks on behalf of their clients. These brokers are familiar with all the unique rules and regulations that govern the exchange market and take care of this service for their clients. 

Insurance Brokers

Also known as insurance agents, these brokers benefit customers as they find the best-fitting insurance policies for their clients. Additionally, they make the insurance application process more manageable and work to save their clients money on their insurance policies. 

Payments Brokers/Agents

This is a newer type of broker focused on onboarding companies that need payment processing solutions. Completing this process requires extensive exchange of customer information and meeting complex payment regulations protecting merchants and payment processors

Daily Work of a Broker

There are a wide variety of tasks that a financial services broker must perform to onboard new clients successfully. Firstly, they need to assist new clients who are filling out applications. This often involves a broker having to be in contact with clients throughout the entire process. Additionally, agents and brokers must ensure that all the data collected within these applications are accurate and in order. 

Policies or services also need to be customized according to the specific needs of a given client. Brokers also must ensure that clients meet all the particular requirements of a policy or service. Not doing this due diligence increases the risk of fines due to failing to meet regulations and additional friction and frustration for customers. 

Risk assessments are central to the activity of any financial services broker. Fraudulent actors are prevalent in financial services, and brokers must protect their companies from these bad actors. Failure to properly assess risk can lead to fraud and costly fines for not meeting strict financial services regulations. 

Brokers also need to monitor and improve their customer relationships constantly. This requires touching base with existing clients and seeing if they need further assistance. Building new customer relationships is also critical, as brokers must reach out to prospective clients and see how they can provide the best-fitting service. Customer relationship management is so vital but also incredibly time-consuming

Challenges of Customer Data Collection

For brokers, it is essential to collect accurate customer data, and this is especially important in financial services. Whether in payments or insurance, brokers must collect significant customer data to onboard them properly. Unfortunately, several challenges make it more difficult for brokers to collect customer data. 

Firstly, many brokers often miss the data they need to onboard a customer properly. This can be due to various reasons, such as the sheer number of data sources. Additionally, customer data that brokers can find on their own can often be outdated. This makes it even more challenging to communicate with or verify prospective customers properly. 

Brokers also cannot take the data they have collected at face value. Fraud has become so prevalent that brokers must be wary of accidentally giving access to bad actors. To make the situation even more complicated, verifying customer information manually can be time-consuming and prevents brokers from being able to interact with more potential customers

Data Collection Tools for Brokers

Jotform

Jotform allows brokers to create online forms for potential customers to input information easily. These customizable forms enable brokers to make tailored forms for specific client bases. Brokers can also craft forms that are easy to navigate and dramatically reduce friction for customers. Mobile users are a huge source of traffic and leads, and Jotform is designed to allow users to fill out forms and applications on their mobile devices. 

Jotform has tons of helpful features, but their branding is included for all their forms, and this can be a problem for brokers who only want their service’s branding included. Additionally, there are limited data exporting capabilities with Jotform that can make it more challenging to integrate with other systems such as CRM. Focusing on online forms only, Jotform does not include customer verification or risk assessment, which is often essential to financial services

DocuSign

DocuSign is a potent and popular e-signature tool for various reasons. Compliance is central to Docusign as this is essential to financial services brokers who must meet financial regulations. Helpful features such as document editing and storing signed documents make the application easier for brokers and customers. There are many valuable integrations with DocuSign, allowing brokers to create a more robust customer onboarding process. 

One downside of Docusign is that you cannot create documents within it and will need to import records from another platform. While Docusign offers great e-signature solutions, it is limited in other assistance functions, such as no online forms for customers to fill out like Jotform. Similar to Jotform, Docusign does not include features such as KYC that are so essential in financial services to prevent fraud.

Dropbox

One of the first cloud storage platforms, Dropbox continues to be an excellent choice for cloud storage and is an invaluable tool for brokers. Similar to other tools like Jotform, Dropbox can function on all types of devices. Collaboration is easy with Dropbox, allowing brokers to work with their teams to provide clients with the best customer onboarding experience. It also has plenty of integrations, giving brokers a diverse tool set. 

Unfortunately, Dropbox does have the best encryption and security compared to some other options, and this is potentially a massive problem for financial services where data breach attempts are common. Additionally, some of their plans are limited in storage, requiring brokers to spend substantially more to have the needed storage

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