PEOPLE DON'T USE TECHNOLOGY just because it's new. They use it because it helps them achieve something important to them," says Aditya Bhasin. "That may mean catching up with the grandkids over Skype, or finding ways to better manage your financial life."
As the chief information officer for Bank of America's Consumer Bank and Global Wealth & Investment Management businesses, Bhasin oversees technology that serves 2 million Merrill Lynch Wealth Management clients and their financial advisors. Here, he talks about some of the new Merrill Lynch technologies that are available to help you manage finances, protect your information and connect with your advisor.
Getting Advice Where—and When—You Want It
"People's financial lives are so complex these days. They're juggling all sorts of priorities, from how to help their aging parents to how much to save for their kids' education or their own retirement. Technology can play a huge role in helping you get the advice you need.
"As a company, we look at technology as a way to help our clients and advisors stay connected." — Aditya Bhasin, CIO, Consumer Bank and Global Wealth & Investment Management
"As a company, we look at technology as a way to help our clients reach their goals and stay connected with their advisors. We want our advisors to have the most up-to-date technology that can help them deliver the guidance clients need, where and when it's convenient for them to receive it."
Managing Your Money on the Go
"Technology helps clients manage their finances wherever they are. You can use our Secure Message Center to exchange messages and documents with your advisor without using email that may not be secure. Our upgraded mobile apps enable you to deposit checks, pay bills, monitor your portfolio and more. And our iPad® 'Discovery Apps' help you and your advisor assess and adjust your preparations for retirement.
"Looking ahead, we're exploring new capabilities, such as mobile videoconferencing apps enabling clients to hold video chats with their advisors and securely share documents, almost as if they're in the same room."
"The two questions I always get when I'm out with clients are: 'What are you doing to keep my information secure?' and 'What can I do to protect myself online?' To address the first concern, we recently launched new security features on ml.com, including enhanced tools like one-time authorization codes, free downloadable anti-malware software and an anti-phishing tool, among other elements designed to help you protect your information.
"But even with those measures in place, it pays to be careful. When people ask me about ways to keep their personal information safe, I always stress the importance of using complex, hard-to-guess passwords on the sites where you manage your money—and never use those same passwords on any of the other sites you might visit regularly."
To find out more about the new security features available to clients, visit ml.com/security.
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Global Wealth & Investment Management and Consumer Bank are divisions of Bank of America Corporation.