Sell-Side Technology Awards 2014: Best Sell-Side Mobile Initiative — Pershing

sst-292-pershing
Prakash Ahuja, Victor Anderson, Joseph Pasion, Stephen Thomson, John Starks, Sabina Phillips, and Ramiya Ramanathan

For banks, the ability to untether their workforce from their desks has become a key area of focus, especially when it comes to investment advisement. Pershing, through its NetExchange Mobile service, has aggressively rolled out new mobile functionality to answer the demands of advisors and investors. Thanks to its efforts, Pershing won the best sell-side mobile initiative category in this year’s Sell-Side Technology Awards.

Whereas many firms are using the HTML5 programming language—which is device-agnostic—to build once and spread the desktop experience to all mobile devices, Pershing decided to opt for native development. Michael DiPierro, vice president of client technology solutions at Pershing, says that native offers a better user experience because HTML5 still lacks certain functionality and has browser limitations.

“Although many firms say they are designing for mobile first, for NetX360 Mobile, we really mean it,” DiPierro says. “We design based on use-cases instead of building requirements just so we can reach parity with the desktop.  Not everything that exists on the desktop will work for mobile.  We spend a lot of time meeting with our clients, observing how they use our system, and analyzing usage patterns in determining what to build and how to build it.”

NetExchange Mobile—made up of NetX360 Mobile, NetX360 Mobile for Good, and the NetXInvestor Mobile platform—provides users with immediate access to advisors and investors. The platform also provides location-based services, voice interaction and camera functionality, which, when it is rolled out later this year, will provide clients with the ability to take a photo of a document and upload it to Pershing’s document imaging system.

At press time, Pershing was in the pre-release period for a major upgrade to the platform—from the ground up—that will further enhance the user experience. Key to this release is functionality to create more services around collaboration.

“To help client engagement and foster collaboration, we designed a key component called ‘Meeting Mode’, which allows the advisor to lock their iPad so that the tablet can be passed to a client and the advisor doesn’t have to worry about the client accessing sensitive information,” DiPierro says.

“Although many firms say they are designing for mobile first, for NetX360 Mobile, we really mean it. We design based on use-cases instead of building requirements just so we can reach parity with the desktop.  Not everything that exists on the desktop will work for mobile.” —Michael DiPierro, Pershing

Later this year, Pershing will also expand the platform’s presentation functionality to allow users to share presentations across multiple devices. It additionally plans to give advisors the ability to reset their passwords using voice biometrics, rather than having to call customer support.

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