Changing the paper-based behavior of advisors and their clients remains a challenge for financial services firms, according to a Pershing whitepaper entitled Closing the e-Delivery Gap. The gap is significant: 53.1 percent of respondents expect investors to enroll in at least one type of e-delivery communication, but only about 20 percent of investors have chosen to adopt these methods.

“Understanding the e-delivery gap boils down to the fact that investors have multiple accounts which are all supported by different technology ecosystems,” said Ram Nagappan, chief information officer of Pershing. “If e-delivery is to be more widely adopted by investors, it’s crucial for firms to embrace integrated technologies so that the industry as a whole can enhance the customer experience for investors.

According to the survey, the main impediments to investor acceptance of e-delivery include the following: lack of knowledge or support for financial institutions, unwillingness to change paper-centric behaviors, technology related difficulties, and concerns over security.

The survey found that one of the most effective enablers can be the automatic default to e-delivery unless the investor specifically requests paper; however this option is not authorized in some jurisdictions or for some types of communications (e.g. some types of tax documents).

The survey also found that the majority of respondents identified e-mail notification with an authenticated link to a Web site as the most preferred method of e-delivery.
Click here to obtain a copy of the white paper.