Digital financial advice narrows gender gap

WOMEN are fast catching up to men when it comes to online financial advice, according to the latest data insights from Decimal Software.

Comparing data for the six months to the end of March 2017 with that from September 2016, the gender gap is closing in regards to both total user numbers and funds under advice (FUA).

Of the statements of advice (SOAs) issued by Decimal systems, women accounted for 43 per cent. This compares to 35 per cent of overall SOAs at the end of September 2016.

In addition, of almost $2 billion in new FUA over the six months, 39 per cent was attributed to women and 61 per cent to men. This compares to 36 per cent women and 64 per cent men at the end of September 2016.

And while men still have higher average FUA per user than women, at the end of March it was down to a 16 per cent difference compared to the previous 21 per cent.

The information is included in Decimal’s latest Digital Data Insights report, which looks at usage across the company’s client base of Australian superannuation providers.

Chief Executive Officer Nic Pollock said the company’s vision had always been for its digital solutions to make financial advice available to far more Australians than were serviced by traditional offerings.

“The way in which it is democratising advice across age and gender is pleasing,” Mr Pollock said.

“We saw some interesting patterns emerging in the ways that men and women of different age brackets were using digital advice when we released our first Data Insights report last year.

“With our second report we can see quite similar patterns so we’re starting to build a detailed picture of behaviour. And for many of our enterprise clients, the fact that digital advice is proving to be a real equiliser across various demographics is a very pleasant surprise.”

While the total number of SOA’s in most age brackets still leant in men’s favour, young women aged 21 to 25 outnumbered men 66 per cent to 44 per cent, while for 46 to 50 year olds, the numbers were almost equal.

However, when it came to average FUA per user, women in the 26 to 30 year age group sought advice on an average 24 per cent higher amount than men, while those in the 31 to 35 year and 51 to 55 year age brackets were on average 5 per cent than their male counterparts.

“Decimal’s intention is that the Data Insights reports will provide valuable demographic and behavioural data that can be used by financial service providers to inform  marketing and provide more meaningful advice to customers,” Mr Pollock said.

The latest Data Insights report will be publically available from June 2017. To register your interest in receiving a copy, please click here. 

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