TD Bank, one of the big six banks in Canada, has partnered with Hydrogen Technology Corporation, a US-based fintech startup that is behind the HYDRO token and blockchain project. Under the agreement Hydrogen has licensed its technology to TD Bank for revamping its online investing platform so TD customers can experience a completely digital and streamlined investment experience.
The partnership will be implemented in several stages. During initial phase (which will begin from early 2019) Hydrogen’s APIs will be integrated into WebBroker platform of TD Bank. This will allow TD Bank customers to build their own financial plans and portfolios as per their requirements, and to track the progress of their investments against major financial goals. WebBroker is TD’s flagship platform for do-it-yourself investors, and the company has already invested as much as $125 million in it to provide a great investing experience.
Then there will be a second phase of the partnership, which will begin sometime from mid-2019. During this phase, a new platform will be developed and launched by both companies that will allow investors to invest in ETFs solely based on the advise given by robots. That’s right – an ETF investment platform combined with a robo advisory service. How sound financial advice robots can give will be worth seeing though.
Speaking about the partnership Mr. Tony Ierullo, vice-president of wealth digital innovation at TD, told The Globe and Mail during an interview:
“This new technology is going to power different experiences across different areas of the TD organization. While our initial focus is on improving the self-directed investor experience, our ultimate goal is to bring best-in-class digital investing solutions to all TD clients, at every stage of their financial journey.”
Michael Kane, CEO and President of Hydrogen, was also upbeat about his company’s partnership with TD Group. He said:
“Almost every industry has been disrupted due to the pervasiveness of technology and shifting customer preferences, and the Wealth industry is no exception. To address this, Hydrogen has built an interconnected global platform designed to provide access to some of the best financial infrastructure and products currently on the market. Our agreement with TD is testament to the power of embedding innovative digital solutions into established investment services.”
The private discount brokerages operated by Big Six Canadian banks manage as much as $373 billion in assets. The partnership between TD Bank and Hydrogen has come at a time when customers are getting more concerned about the prices they pay, opting for brokerages with lower trading commissions. It will be interesting to see how this partnership helps TD in retaining its customers.