Schwab Advisor Services has announced various enhancements to Schwab Advisor Center, the core custody and trading platform for independent advisers whose clients custody with Schwab.
Updates include an online account open tool, which will guide advisers through the process, and enable them to send account applications to clients for electronic signature. By partnering with DocuSign, Schwab plans to expand eApproval capabilities to most transactions conducted via Schwab Advisor Center, including money movement and account maintenance. Users can also now use text-based authentication. Advisers who need to process a large number of e-singed forms can take advantage of bulk-downloading capabilities.
A new electronic check deposit feature will be rolled out in 2017. It will allow advisers to scan and upload checks on behalf of their clients to Schwab Advisor Center. The tool will also allow advisers to upload batches of checks. Straight-through processing (STP) will ensure funds are deposited as quickly as possible into client accounts, the firm explains.
The announcement follows the release of the Schwab Advisor Services cybersecurity suite of tools.
“The adviser office is continuously changing as technology becomes an integrated and intuitive part of all facets of our lives,” says Ed Obuchowski, senior vice president of advisor technology solutions at Schwab Advisor Services. “Our vision is to empower advisers to conduct all routine business with Schwab securely online, digitizing their workflows at every opportunity, while also minimizing time-consuming activity like follow-ups on status over the phone. This will ultimately allow advisers to continue to achieve scale and efficiency in their operations and stay focused on the needs of their clients.”
Through Schwab Alliance, advisers can gather client authorization. They can also securely view and share client account information with authorized third parties such as legal counsel or accountants entirely online. Advisers can also securely submit requests or documents from their mobile phone or tablet. New tracking features allow firms to manage documentation and track the history of requests. Clients who call Schwab for account information can utilize voice verification.
In 2012, Schwab also released a suite of online investing tools for its retirement business.
The redesigned Schwab Advisor Center service guide now features predictive search and frequent search suggestions. The rating and comment features for article content has also been enhanced. Schwab Advisor Center is used by more than 40,000 independent advisers at more than 7,000 firms who custody more than $1 trillion in client assets with Schwab.
For more information, access the replay of Schwab Advisor Services’ recent webcast: What’s new: An overview of technology platform enhancements.