Connecting our industry during COVID-19
As work environments change in response to COVID-19, you may be looking for ways to increase automation, reduce paper processing and migrate to digital operations. In support of these business preparations, we’re sharing several digital solutions that can help you do business with ease. Here are some common issues and ways you can mitigate them by taking full advantage of services currently available on our network:
- Automate payments to avoid disruptions
Our network allows members to place different types of trades such as purchases and redemptions, switches and transfers. Settlement of these trades can be automated, which is important in areas where there are postal service disruptions, as fund companies may not be able to process or issue cheques. Here are some helpful tips:
- Instead of requiring cheques from investors, settle purchases using N$M, or for client-name accounts, send the bank-account details along with a request for EFT
- In-cash transfers (ICT) can be used for client-name accounts to process a two-sided transaction. A transaction where instructions to sell from “manufacturer A” are sent along with instructions to use the proceeds to buy from “manufacturer B”. By processing transfers in this manner, manufacturers can settle with one another electronically through Fundserv without the need for the manual processing of cheques, which may not be accepted in areas where there are postal service disruptions.
- External transfers, including those between client-name accounts, can be used to process dealer-to-dealer changes.
- LOIs for incorrect trades can be placed electronically by cancelling or reversing the trade, and if necessary, replacing them using a back-dated order.
- Use Non-financial updates (NFU) messages and reduce form handling
Standing instructions and other non-financial information, such as demographic and account-related details, can be sent to manufacturers through the Fundserv network. Here are a few options that could reduce the forms that advisors need to complete and alleviate paperwork processing for manufacturers:
- PACs and SWPs can be set up and changed through NFU messages. Send the investor’s banking information along with the message to fully complete the instruction.
- Advisor fee rates can be set up and changed through NFU for fee-based accounts being managed by the manufacturer. This eliminates the need to send the corresponding fee form.
- Go paperless
Fundserv has developed services and agreements to support our members as they migrate to digital processing of forms and reduce the handling of paper:
- Fundserv’s e-signature guidelines and the accompanying contract addendum allow dealers the ability to comply with industry-accepted criteria for their e-signature tool. It also provides recipients of e-signed documents the comfort to act on those instructions knowing that they have an indemnification agreement in place.
- The Electronic Processing Agreement (EPA) allows dealers to retain documents at source which would normally be faxed over to manufacturers as back-up to instructions sent over the Fundserv network.
- messageserv is a free service available to all Fundserv members to facilitate the secure communication and transmission of documentation between industry participants, where necessary. Today, the system is most often used to communicate NIGOs, but use cases are expanding as the need to find a viable alternative to fax increases.
myserv can be a particularly helpful source of information as fund companies reduce call-centre hours. It’s a centralized portal for information on investors, their accounts and transactions, drawing directly from each manufacturer’s system.
To learn more, visit these links:
- Fundserv Standards, including the list and description of each transaction type: https://estandards.fundserv.com/secure/english/standards29/index.html
- Document, videos and guides:
- Web services user guide
- messageserv user guide: https://estandards.fundserv.com/secure/english/download/messageserv_user_guide.pdf
- Fundserv industry agreements:
Please contact our relationship management team at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about taking advantage of these member services.