Why I hate the term "robo-advice"

Romi Savova

by , CEO

30 Sept 2015 /  

30
Sept 2015

Why I hate the term

It had just happened again. I cringed, a distinctive polite smile creeping onto my face as yet another well-intending stranger commented that my company, PensionBee, was a really interesting “robo-adviser”.

I cringed for two reasons: first, PensionBee doesn’t offer advice to its customers. We empower customers to make their own financial decisions.

At PensionBee we’re on a mission to give our customers control over their money, particularly their pensions

But, more importantly, the word “robo-advice” could not be further from the reality of what young, innovative companies in the wealth management space, like PensionBee, are trying to do.

At PensionBee we’re on a mission to give our customers control over their money, particularly their pensions. That’s not a robotic approach, is it?

Robo-advice immediately conjures images of Robocop, a half-human, slightly scary robot, which, despite the recent movie remake, is definitively from the 1980s. Eeugh. Not quite the modern revolutionaries we see ourselves as.

Equally, robo-advice sounds like an effort to make a one-size fits all model of wealth management. Technology actually has the ability to make finance more personalised than ever. Technology can instantly capture our preferences (even after hours, while your typical human has a well-deserved rest) and tailor products to customers’ price, style and access preferences. The holy grail of A/B testing, a quasi-religion in start-up land, is to figure out which customers like which features, so we can enhance our products to please them.

Finally, robo-advice sounds really complicated and my personal mission, and that of many fintech entrepreneurs, is to make finance easy and accessible. At PensionBee, we dedicate an enormous amount of resources to simplifying the complex language surrounding pensions and delivering a seamless customer experience that should only be described as “beautiful”.

So if robo-advice totally misses the point, what’s a better word to describe this nascent market? My personal favourite is “digi-savings” or “online money managers”, a word that captures the modernity of our offerings and the ultimate mission underpinning our business activities: to help customers prepare for the future.

Interested to hear what others think and your personal favourite substitute for the dreaded “robo-advice” term.

Have a question? Call our UK team 020 3457 8444

Have a question?

Call our UK team

020 3457 8444

Monday-Wednesday 9:30am-6pm, Thursday-Friday 9:30am-5pm

Monday-Wednesday 9:30am-6pm
Thursday-Friday 9:30am-5pm