Token, by Artefact shows a positive step forward in the quest for real time wealth management. The token allows users to input the amounts spent on a range of tokens such as credit cards, debit cards and mobile wallets and track spending on each instrument.
It shows people are thinking about bringing data together simply to give an individual a single view of their spending from one screen. Years ago I explored the idea of a wealth management service - a portal that held information on credit cards, pensions,
equities, savings accounts, ISAs etc. The idea was to give an individual a view of their total wealth picture spread across different investment vehicles, with a barometer of their spending included.
Effectively it is a treasury workstation for individual retail customers. Given that we have technology for this, surely at some point, this will be redirected to serve the individual. The problem has always been one of data protection. Banks and FIs then
were unable to share information with a third party, and why would they, because a customer might move money from their instrument (e.g. savings) to a bond or into equities where performance was better.
At present we get all our statements at different times, in separate envelopes or via individual websites. Unless one has the time and inclination to type it all into Excel, it would be difficult to bring it all together.
The customer benefits of such an aggregated view of spending and assets are enormous, and if it gave individuals better control and the propensity to invest more, surely it would help all parties. Utilty Warehouse has done something similar with utilities.
With their service you can get your gas, electricity, broadband, mobile and landline all on one bill. Amazing. One amount, one bill to file. The convenience and time savings alone are compelling, let alone the great rates they can give for having one customer
relationship for multiple holdings.
However, in their case, the benefit comes from them being the sole provider. A true wealth management or spending monitoring tool would enable the individual to shop around: it must be 'supplier' neutral.
Token gets around this by making the process of entering information quick and easy. In five years time there will doubtless be a way to such this information into the token wirelessly without manual entry.
Let's see where this goes and watch for an aggregated solution that puts us in the know.