In a bid to strengthen its digital tools, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management will soon be providing its nearly 15,000 financial advisors with new client-to-advisor texting capabilities, the firm announced today.
The new capabilities are expected to roll out this month and in February.
"Texting is just our latest investment in building our state-of-the-art digital capabilities so that we can serve our clients when, where and how they want," Andy Sieg, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, said in a statement.
Advisors will be able to text with clients on both Apple and Android devices and through a web interface, which provides secure access to corporate email, calendar and contacts from devices linked to their office phone numbers, the firm said.
Merrill Lynch selected CellTrust to manage, track and deliver text messaging, which will all be time- and date-stamped.
The new capabilities follow numerous other technology tools and upgrades that were introduced over the past year, according to Merrill Lynch.
The firm cited the advisor websites it launched in January 2017 that "allow advisors to showcase themselves and their team." Since the new site design became available, more than 8,000 financial advisor websites have rolled out, according to the firm.
Merrill Lynch also touted its Salesforce mobile app, which it says "allows advisors to update client information and tasks while on the go."
In addition, the firm noted its continued investment in client-facing platforms like the MyMerrill mobile app, which launched at the end of 2016 and continues to see dramatic growth.