App offers financial advice for under $10

A young woman uses an iPhone mobile phone in Melbourne, Wednesday, June 1, 2011. A report released overnight by the World Health Organisation's cancer research wing said radio waves emitted by mobile phones are "possibly carcinogenic to humans". (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING

Andrew Leeson

(Australian Associated Press)

Consumers used to being charged by the hour to see a financial adviser could soon be able to pay per question instead.

Smartphone content developer Crowd Mobile is developing an app that will let customers consult financial experts remotely from their devices for less than $10 a query.

“It’s really trying to take the whole notion of bringing the experts into someone’s home, and the convenience of the consumer and at a fraction of the cost,” Crowd Mobile chief executive Domenic Carosa told AAP.

Crowd Mobile last week signed a deal with financial services group Sequoia Asset Management and another with CIA Tax.

Those deals follow an earlier agreement with Peak Asset Management and open up a wealth of advisers on a range of financial topics.

The app represents Crowd Mobile’s first step into Australia’s $5 billion financial advice sector, Mr Carosa said.

The growing question and answer app market, the cornerstone of Crowd Mobile’s business, was satisfying a demand for professional advice, he said.

“Consumers have now got access to thousands and millions of bits of information … What we are seeing is people are craving for personalised advice, personalised information that goes beyond the whole Google experience,” Mr Carosa said.

Crowd Mobile has already created similar apps for everything from fashion to database management and is now eyeing other sectors.

But, Mr Carosa, said the apps don’t only benefit consumers.

They also give experts the option to earn extra money when it suits them, with nearly $2.5 million paid out in the past 12 months.


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