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Pershing Study Shows the Adoption of e-Delivery Technologies Still Lagging Despite Client's Growing Comfort with Email Communication

The new white paper outlines how financial professionals can increase e-delivery adoption rates despite current challenges and perceptions

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, today released a new white paper entitled, "Closing the e-Delivery Gap: The 2013 e-Delivery Survey," which uncovered a significant gap between financial executives who expect investors to adopt e-delivery and the actual number of investors who enroll in such services.

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The gap is significant: 53.1% of respondents expect investors to enroll in at least one type of e-delivery communication, but only about 20% of investors have chosen to adopt these methods. The survey identified various reasons for investors wanting e-delivery, including: easier record keeping (64.3%), reluctance to pay for paper-based documents (50%), a more secure environment (42.9%), and environmentally conscious attitude (21.4%). However, their reluctance to enroll persists, due in part to a lack of knowledge of the technology, security concerns, and an unwillingness to change "paper-centric" behaviors. Yet, the fact that many investors operate several investment accounts from various firms is the main reason more investors don't move to e-delivery. Most firms don't operate on the same software or with the same technology integrations, meaning investors have to master different user interfaces, forms and document delivery processes.

"Understanding the e-delivery gap boils down to the fact that investors have multiple accounts which are all supported by different technology ecosystems," said Ram Nagappan, chief information officer of Pershing. "If e-delivery is to be more widely adopted by investors, it's crucial for firms to embrace integrated technologies so that the industry as a whole can enhance the customer experience for investors. Pershing is continually working with clients on how to engage in the adoption dialogue and offer turnkey solutions to incorporate it into their marketing strategy so that they can educate investors on the benefits of an e-delivery experience."

Certain efforts are currently being made to close this gap and encourage the transition from paper delivery to complete e-delivery communications, which are identified by the research. The methods and training tools currently being offered to help advisors drive electronic enrollment with their investors include training presentations, how-to guides, motivation from branch office managers, and incentive programs for rewarding e-delivery users. "Closing the e-Delivery Gap: The 2013 e-Delivery Survey," analyzes these best practices for successfully closing the e-delivery gap. The paper urges wider adoption of technologies in the securities industry, thereby reducing obstacles and misperceptions of e-delivery.

Other key insights include:

  • Five electronic communication mediums were measured in the survey to understand the percentage of respondents who had adopted e-delivery: statements (19.3%), trade confirmations (22.7%), tax documents (21.4%), post-trade prospectuses (25.9%), and proxy annual reports (22.2%). The two lowest-ranking services, statements and tax documents, contain the greatest amount of confidential personal data.
  • The vast majority (70.6%) of respondents identified an e-mail notification with an authenticated link to a website as the most preferred method for providing e-delivery access.  E-mail with document attached but no password required was identified as their least preferred method, with a response rate of 0%.
  • According to participants, custodians use three methods to encourage e-delivery adoption: charging retail investors (58%), charging advisors (33%), and financial incentive to retail investors (42%). Sixty-seven percent of custodians offer no incentives.

Pershing commissioned Beacon Strategies, LLC, a research and consulting firm specializing in technology developments in financial services, to produce the white paper, Closing the e-Delivery Gap: The 2013 e-Delivery Survey. To obtain a copy of the white paper, visit the following link.

Pershing and its affiliates provide global financial business solutions to approximately 1,600 financial organizations, broker-dealers, registered investment advisory firms, advisors, fund managers and asset managers who represent over 5.6 million active accounts. Located in 23 offices worldwide, Pershing delivers dependable operational support, robust trading services, flexible technology, an expansive array of investment solutions, practice management support and service excellence. Pershing is a member of every major U.S. securities exchange, and its international affiliates are members of the Deutsche Borse, Australian Stock Exchange, Irish Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange. Pershing LLC (member FINRA/NYSE/SIPC) is a BNY Mellon company. Additional information is available on, or follow us on Twitter @Pershing.

BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. As of December 31, 2013, BNY Mellon had $27.6 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.6 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on, or follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon.

Paul Patella
+1 201 413 3609
[email protected]


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