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FREEMONT, Calif. – Think of a pumped up version of account aggregation. That’s how some are describing online wealth management. While account aggregation allows members to see all of their financial data, they can’t do anything with it. Online wealth management allows members to input financial information via their CU’s Web site and receive specific advice based on their goals. Of course one of the goals is for the service to push more CU products to members. The member has the option of interacting with a CU advisor to purchase products or get further advice. AdviceAmerica, a Silicon Valley software company founded in March 1999 to provide personal financial advice and planning solutions via the Web, has signed a number of large CUs as clients for online wealth management. Clients include GTE FCU, Orange County Teachers FCU, America First FCU, Boeing Employees CU, and others. The firm already has partnerships with Open Financial Solutions, a tech CUSO owned by nine CUs (including U.S. Central), and a partnership with CUNA Mutual. “Credit unions are typically thought of as where you go to get your car loan. Credit unions aren’t thought about as the place to go for insurance, annuities and those other things. Let’s break that mold,” said Jim Willis, SVP, Sales & Marketing for AdviceAmerica. Willis said CUs can use the product to get members to use the CU for credit insurance, annuities, securities and other products members may not think of their credit union first. He said it’s perfect for people who know they need help, yet don’t want to contact a financial advisor on their own. The bones behind AdviceAmerica’s system is an artificial intelligence-like system that generates rules-based advice. It’s modeled on the Monte Carlo style financial system. “It goes out and looks at a whole bunch of scenarios and comes back with probable scenarios. Maybe a member should be maxxing out their KEOGH or looking at a variable annuity. Most people who use these systems know they need help. It’s great for the self-directed consumer,” said Willis. He said GTE FCU is seeing a couple thousand members a week logging on to use the system. Once a member sees options, they can then click a button to be linked to a rep that can help them with their purchases. CUNA Mutual Group, which offers an array of security and insurance products, is partnering with AdviceAmerica for a pilot program where a CU using CUNA Mutual’s MEMBERS Financial Services program can have the system linked to an MEMBERS Financial Network rep. MFN is the online channel of MFS. CUNA Mutual added its own registered investment advice layer to the solution to give members a consistent experience. There’s even a button that lets the member share their information with the MFN rep to get them started on finding products. The pilot is with just one CU. Anne Knopp, MFS Technology Manager for CUNA Mutual, said online wealth management ties in well with aggregation. “There’s really a nice link with the two. It’s great to have all your data in one spot, but what do you do with it? It’s all about the plan, what action you are going to take,” said Knopp. She said this product could be great just as a sales tool for CUs, by getting the member to take that next step of contacting a financial services rep, whether it’s online or not. AdviceAmerica was founded in 1999. It is a privately-held company funded by some of its customers, private investors and venture capitalists. It employs 45 people and has about 15 financials, including six CUs, using its product. “Well over 100,000 people are using it online,” said Willis. He did note that AdviceAmerica can pre-populate data in the system via account aggregation providers uMonitor, CashEdge and Yodlee, however some financials may need more work than others achieving that based on their individual set-up. [email protected]

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