How Tech Alters Our World

User-Tech Is on the Rise in Financial Industries

Are Uber & Airbnb harbingers of a changing retail landscape?

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Jul 21, 2015) – Melbourne based Fin-tech company Thomson Rowe Partners say user-operated consumer services are reaching new customers in markets well beyond share rides and accommodation services.

Thomson's latest end of financial year client statistics (June 30, 2015) show a significant upswing in self-managed DIY trading technology in relation to managed services.

Influenced by leaders of industry Airbnb and Uber, Thomson Rowe Partners successfully created self-managed trading tools that simplify investing and cut out the middleman. By generating a new business model that eliminates trail commissions and management fees, they were able to create affordable investment products for everyday people that deliver the same insights and information as large firms and corporate institutions.

Empowering The Individual

"Technology is empowering individuals across multiple industries," says chief engineer John Davidson of Thomson Rowe Partners. "We have noticed massive shifts in the way people are willing to manage their own money. People are no longer ok with paying for mediocrity and now there are more options than ever before. Our focus is on giving clients more control and bigger returns. By keeping our service simple, we have been able to attract new clients and give them the support and confidence to control their own finances,"

 Back in 2008, Airbnb began offering a marketplace for unique travel accommodations around the world via shared technology. A recent study conducted on the impact of Airbnb in Australia's largest city Sydney, revealed a $214M boost in economic activity in one year. The economic impact is estimated to support 1,600 jobs throughout Sydney and surrounding suburbs.

The affordability of quality accommodation options offered by the app-based business means more people are hitting the open road and staying longer in the cities they visit. In Sydney, 31% of Airbnb guests claim that they would not have made the trip or stayed as long without the site.

Those same guests stayed roughly twice as long as the average hotel guest, with 63% claiming that their Airbnb experience would make them more likely to return to Australia. In a survey recently conducted at Thomson Rowe Partners, statistics tell a similar story with dramatic swings in first time investors versus professional traders, as well as comparisons between self-managed trading tools and corporate funds.

As of June 30 2015, 81.73% of Thomson Rowe Partners' client portfolios were invested by use of self-managed tools, funds and trading programs as compared with only 23.57% in 2013.

Furthermore, the majority of clients in 2013 were professional and experienced traders. First time investors represented only 3% of the internal marketplace while 10% were first time traders on the stock market. Those figures have risen respectively to almost half of the market with 28% of clients being first time investors and 20% being first time traders.

Changing consumer habits

By generating a new business model that eliminates trail commissions and management fees, they were able to create affordable investment products for everyday people that deliver the same insights and information as large firms and corporate institutions

In a recent CNN Money article, Certify, a travel and expense firm, looked at 8 million transactions across North America from April through June of this year. Uber accounted for 55% of all rides, up from 18% just one year ago. Cabs came in second at 43% while Uber competitor Lyft made up just 1%.

According to Certify CEO Bob Neveu, the fact that business travellers are adopting new services is partly a result of companies changing their policies. In the past, many had prohibited private services like Uber and Airbnb — but that's starting to change. "They're seeing [sharing economy services] as a viable option — and potentially a cost-saver," he said. "A lot of times, companies are more interested in the dollar amount."

The report found that taxi rides were more expensive than both Uber and Lyft — an average $34.48 compared to $30.03 and $22.51, respectively. "If you take a look at Uber, they are not successful just because they have a nice looking app," said Davidson. "They are successful because they provide customers with a better service for less money, which undoubtedly attracts new customers. Our success has come from giving clients bigger returns for less money. We won't forget what our responsibility is to clients. They don't want pretty software — they want results."

The Certify SpendSmart report shows Airbnb rentals still account for a small number of bookings, but they're growing — up 143% from last quarter. Business travellers are also happier when they stay at an Airbnb property. Certify asks customers to rate their stays: Airbnb earns an average of 4.72 stars out of 5, compared to 4.04 for hotels.

Direct-to-consumer tech platforms are more than just a leap in convenience; they are being seen as a revolution that is encouraging new revenue and a healthier marketplace.

"People are embracing technology and new ways of managing day-to-day life," said Davidson. 'The popularity of Uber and Airbnb are a great example of that. This willingness to think outside the box is what has helped us be successful. We gave clients the tools, but they had to be willing to use them. Clients who had no previous investing experience before joining us are now in complete control of their finances. Not only do they have more control but their returns are far superior to any outsourced option available. I hope we see more products developed that give power back to the customer in any industry."


About Thomson Rowe Partners
Thomson Rowe Partners are a Melbourne based investment firm with a focus on developing innovative trading technology. Before creating trading tools for individual investors they developed the first automated trading platform utilised by a major hedge fund. Their investment products are currently used in four international markets with the United States set to follow in early 2016.