North American SnAppshot: Capital Markets and Wealth Management

An Overview of Mobile Apps
by Bill Fearnley, Jr, January 24, 2012
Industry Trends
North America


Smartphones and tablets continue to dominate the business and technology headlines. Celent believes the strong double-digit growth of smart mobile devices will continue. Smart devices create an opportunity for financial institutions to reach their customers and prospects through a new electronic channel.

In a new report, North American SnAppshot: Capital Markets and Wealth Management, Celent explores some of the technology and business issues wealth management and capital market institutions face as they develop mobile applications for their customers. Celent estimates that more than 620 million smartphone units will be sold in 2012, and industry estimates predict that more than 100 million tablets will be sold this year.

There are multiple demand drivers for financial apps and the report examines the factors driving demand in capital markets and wealth management. This report also analyzes smartphone and tablet growth trends and operating system trends and how these trends are affecting app development.

Demand Drivers for Mobile Capital Market and Wealth Management Apps


Our View

Users want to do more with their devices.

Users are upgrading because they want to do more with their smartphones and tablets.

Clients want access to their investments and market information any time and anywhere.

Smart devices provide continuous access to news and market information.

Capital market investors need to stay connected even more than before.

Investment professionals are expected to be connected, even after hours, to monitor and react to developments in foreign markets

Advisors want mobile devices, especially tablets to help them service their clients.

Advisors need to be more connected too, and want mobile devices to help them with client (and prospect) meetings.

Institutions continue to release new apps and upgrades to existing offerings.

New apps and upgrades keep users committed and attract new apps and smart device users.

“The number of smartphone and tablet users continues to grow, and users are becoming more dependent on these devices,” says Bill Fearnley, Jr., Celent Senior Analyst and author of the report.

“Individual investors want access to their investments on their devices, and some of the leading wealth managers have released apps that give their clients any time, anywhere access to their investments. Professional investors want access to analyst research, and leading capital markets firms offer apps that provide access to analysts, traders, and portfolio managers,” he adds.

In this report, Celent reviews some of the technology options available and offers recommendations for firms looking to release apps for their clients.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary



Smartphone and Tablet Growth Remains Strong



App Types and OS Platform Considerations



Apps in Capital Markets



Apps for Wealth Management



Our Conclusions





Smart Mobile Device Growth Remains Strong



Investors Want Devices to Help Manage Their Investments



Our Methodology


Technology Overview



Multiple Catalysts Are Driving App Demand



Native, Web, and Hybrid Apps: User and Developer Perspectives



The Developer Perspective



Smartphone Operating Systems: Choosing the Right One(s)



Tablet Operating Systems: Choosing the Right Ones(s)


Mobile Financial Apps: Six Key Features


Capital Markets Apps from Leading Firms



GS Research: A Multimedia Approach



UBS Research: First Look Summaries and Research Notes



JPMorgan Eventcenter: An App for Conference


Wealth Management Apps from Leading Firms



Operating System Platforms



Vanguard Investors: Charts and Multimedia Content



Fidelity: Charting and Deposits from Mobile Devices



Schwab: Schwab Mobile


Conclusions and Recommendations


Appendix 1: Key Questions for Financial App Development


Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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