Fidelity Updates Its Mobile Platform to Help Users

Brokers, Investing
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After the growth of its mobile platform last year, Fidelity has released updates to provide more options to customize trading, even when users are away from their desktops. The new features, for iOS and Android, aim to make it easier to navigate the site, get advice and make transactions.

“With our new release, we’re leveraging the latest mobile technology and capabilities to make the experience more contextual, more customized and easier to use and navigate,” said Velia Carboni, Fidelity’s senior vice president of mobile. Fidelity said it believes the more personalized interface and intuitive feel will make it convenient for investors to do trades anywhere—whether they’re at home or on the road.

The shift toward mobile investing

Fidelity isn’t the only brokerage company seeing a spike in the use of its mobile apps. In 2011, about 4.1% of investors used apps,  according to Nicole Sherrod, TD Ameritrade’s managing director. By last year, that number had grown to almost 10%, TD Ameritrade reported.

As popularity of trading with mobile apps grows, many brokerages, including Merrill Edge, Charles Schwab, E-Trade and Scottrade, now also offer apps. The trend isn’t only limited to investing: In 2013, 48% of smartphone owners used mobile banking apps.

Carboni says Fidelity, one of the largest mutual fund companies in the U.S., continues to see more investors using mobile apps, and year-over-year figures show that through April, mobile app trades have grown more than 40% while the number on other channels, such as at Fidelity.com and Active Trader Pro, has remained constant. Fidelity officials say the dramatic growth in demand for mobile investing helped guide the company as it set out to update its apps.

New features for investors

Fidelity’s apps allow users to quickly access information to make a transaction. Highlights of the new features include:

  • Price movement: On the iPad, users now have access to price graphics that track movement of a stock’s price over a day, week, month or year.
  • Performance charts: The “Gainers & Losers” charts on the home screens on the iPhone and Android apps show the biggest stock movements in investors’ portfolios every day.
  • Live help: With the “Call a Rep” feature on the Android app, users are quickly sent to a customer service representative. And to streamline the process, representatives are connected to investors based on the screen currently in use on the app.
  • More personalized news: Investors using an iPhone, iPad or Android will see curated articles in their news feeds that are matched to the tickers in their portfolio or on their watch list.

Carboni said the updates give customers the help they need to research investments as well as the tools to execute trades on stocks, options, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds and international investments quickly whether investors are making trades in airports, coffee shops or on business trips.

Staying power

Although the updates are especially appealing to active traders, Carboni said the fact that the mobile apps can be customized has attracted a variety of investors. And the users who try the updates tend to stick with them, which suggests that Fidelity’s mobile platform has the potential for more growth, he said.


Mobile app user image via Shutterstock.