Fidelity Retail Banks on Simplicity


Blame the Internet or consumer electronics, but what investors demand in their private lives often bleeds over into institutional offerings. It might be better user experience regarding trading interfaces or an “app store” architecture when it comes to front-, middle-, and back office applications.

“Customers are not just comparing us to other online brokers; non-financial services firms are influencing their expectations,” Jennifer Samalis, senior vice president of brokerage products and customer experience at Fidelity, told Markets Media.

Although the firm has learned much supporting its active traders and investors, those who trade approximately 120 and 12 times in a 12-month period respectively, Fidelity is learning much from young, savvy investors, such as Millennials, who are moving from saving to investing.

“One of the interesting things that we’ve learned in engaging with them is this drive for simplicity and engagement,” she said. “It comes out loud and clear from the millennial audience regarding standard expectation. They set the bar for where we’ve got to drive regarding that simplicity and engagement as well as the ‘halo effect’ that goes on with active investors and active traders has been quite good.”

To address the desires of its customer base, Fidelity has focused improving its customer engagement and simplifying its client’ trading experiences for the past couple of years.

“That is inclusive of not just executing a trade, but the end-to-end trading journey itself for a client,” she said, citing examples such as idea generation, trade execution, and portfolio monitoring.”

Rather than putting the onus on clients to hunt and peck for specific data, Fidelity looks to leverage technology that will highlight the data and make it easier to consume. “There just are simple ways to bring the entire trade journey to life in a much more visually appealing and engaging manner,” said Samalis.

Fidelity, for example, has developed a docked trading ticket that follows clients throughout the core pages of Fidelity.com allowing them to stay in contact whether they are monitoring their portfolios, doing research on investment ideas, or using idea-generation tools.

“That trade is literally within their sight,” she explained. “And with a simple click, they can pre-fill that docked trade ticket for an ease of execution.”

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