VCT investment finally joins the digital age
Steven Ford, Marketing Manager at Maven, discusses the launch of a new online application and payment system, which is a long-overdue development in the market and improves the options for people to invest in VCTs.
Venture Capital Trusts invest in some of the UK’s most dynamic and fast-growing businesses, often positioned at the cutting edge of new and innovative client solutions. In fact, according to figures research by the Association of Investment Companies digital, creative, and information technology are amongst the sectors which most frequently attract VCT investment.
Managers within the VCT industry have however been slow off the mark when it comes to adopting the latest new technologies or software systems for their own operations. Indeed financial services in general has long been accused of being a late arrival to the digital age. In their defence, businesses operating in the financial services sector are highly regulated, and typically will have to meet and pass rigorous compliance requirements in order to implement new ways of working, so simply cannot adapt to change as quickly as other industries.
Clearly though there is scope to innovate, and being in the financial sector shouldn’t limit the use of new technology in striving to improve customer service. Before Compare the Market (CTM) launched its award-winning ‘Compare the Meerkat’ campaign in 2009, many believed it was impossible for financial services firms to connect on such a deep and personal level with customers. However CTM’s content was original, resonated with the audience, and skilfully humanised the brand.
Many investors are already seasoned users of digital personal banking, with the ability to make an array of online transactions at the touch of a button, yet every year investors ask us why the VCT industry continues to cater only for paper applications and cheques for new top-up Offers. So it is clear that there is increasing demand for a more straightforward and innovative solution for making an application.
Recently Maven set out to address this long-standing frustration, aiming to cater for those who are digitally active by offering the opportunity to invest online. This may not sound revolutionary to those of us familiar with completing online transactions through sites such as Amazon, ASOS or eBay, but the opportunity to apply online for new VCT shares has simply not existed until now.
Maven has worked alongside Link Asset Services (the Receiving Agent and Registrar for the Maven VCTs, formerly known as Capita) to design a new system which provides a quick and convenient way of subscribing to the Maven VCT Offers. Investors in the new Offers launched in September 2017, are therefore the first to benefit from the option to submit their application and payment online, by using a new dedicated and secure portal at www.mavencpoffer.com.
The investment portal has now been up and running since the end of September for this year’s Offers and we are pleased to see that it has already been well used, with applicants benefiting from a submission process that is both faster and easier to complete. This is a positive new addition to Maven’s VCT offering, though of course it will take time to change the habits of individuals developed over two decades of VCT investing. However in the coming years we fully expect Maven’s peers to implement similar online systems, and for more investors to benefit from this more convenient way of subscribing for new VCT shares.
To find out more about the current Maven VCT Offers please click here.