Using the Schwab Integration

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Integration Summary

The Schwab Adviser Enrolment and Digital Account Opening (DAO) enhancement to Practifi allows customers who use Schwab for Custodial services for their clients to initiate Schwab account opening processes for their client individuals directly from Practifi rather than from within Schwab. 

Practifi customers can now

  • Transfer Contacts from Practifi Client records to Schwab, without rekeying
  • Initiate the Digital Account Opening (DAO) wizard from within Practifi
  • Monitor Alerts received from Schwab, particularly those relating to Account Opening

Advisors will still need to complete details for the account opening within the DAO wizard, and await the receipt of e-signed paperwork from the end-client.

The Advisor who wishes to do this from within Practifi must first enrol themselves into the Schwab Advisor Centre.  This is done by entering the Advisor username and password, provided separately by Schwab as part of servicing their Advisors.  The enrolment is a one off process.

Advisors can then push selected Contacts listed in Practifi under a Client to Schwab from where they will be available to be allocated an account within Schwab.  During the process to create the account the Schwab panels will validate the data supplied from Practifi and prompt for corrections or additions as required by the particular account type being created.

Once the account creation process has been completed the Schwab system will return an Alert back to Practifi, indicating that the account has been successfully created, along with the new account number.  The extraction of the account number, and the creation of a new Asset in Practifi attached to that account number, is performed automatically by Practifi.  Users can see from a list of linked Schwab accounts which Practifi clients have Schwab accounts.

Initial Engagement with Schwab

The Advisor firm must complete must complete paperwork with Schwab to set up access to the Schwab Advisor Center (SAC) for their Advisors.  They will be each be issued a UserId and password to access the SAC.  They may also be enrolled with the additional requirement of needing to enter a One Time Password (OTP, see below)

One Time Password Logons

The Advisor firm may have been enrolled by Schwab to require the use of a One Time Password (OTP) in addition to their UserId and Password.  This typically involves reading and entering a six digit security code from a token, or app on a phone, or screen, such as below:

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On entry of the code the user will be able to continue to use the Schwab Advisor Center, and the Practifi integration, without interruption for eight hours (as determined by Schwab).  While using this integration, where the Advisor requires the entry of an OTP, a panel will appear asking for the code.

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Advisor Enrolment into Schwab Advisor Center

The Team Member must first be enrolled into the Schwab Advisor Center (SAC) as an authorized user before being able to use the API features of the SAC, like the Digital Account Opening or Move Money features.

In Team Member view (the person outline) click the “Schwab Enrolment” button.  This button will appear if the Team Member (ie. the Advisor) has not already been enrolled into Schwab.

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The user will be prompted to read and accept an agreement between the Advisor’s firm and Practifi, required by Schwab.  Unless the terms of this form is accepted the enrolment into Schwab by the Advisor cannot continue.

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 After clicking on Agree and Enrol into Schwab, the a new sub-window pops up, deep linking to the “Schwab Advisor Center” Enrolment wizard:

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The Advisor should enter their UserId and Password (provided by Schwab), tick the consent sentence, and click “Subscribe” to complete the enrolment:

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Successfully enrolled screen:

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After a successful enrolment, the status change is indicated through the change of the “Schwab Agreement” button to a “Schwab Agreement" button, and a “Schwab DAO” button.  Advisors can review the enrolment agreement again with the Agreement button.

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User Enrollment Related Error Messages

There may be occasions when, after enrolling, the users can experience problems accessing the DAO wizard (from the "Send to Schwab" or "Schwab DAO" button) from Practifi. Example scenarios include when the user has subsequently become deactivated, or had more than three Schwab password retry attempts outside of Practifi.  The user will be alerted by an error message such as the one below.  Should this happen, logging into the Schwab Advisor Center outside of Practifi will give a clearer indication of what the issue may be. Some of the known error codes from Schwab are captured in sample screenshots below:

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Send Contacts to Schwab

The Schwab buttons following will only appear if the logged on user has completed the Schwab Enrolment step earlier.

Contacts from Practifi Clients must first be sent to Schwab for use in the Digital Account Opening Wizard as Accountholders.

Sending of Practifi client contacts to Schwab is initiated by pressing the “Send to Schwab” button in the Practifi Client view:

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A pop up window allows the user to send one or multiple or all contacts via ticking against the list of contacts associated with the Client.  Note that if the contact has already been sent to Schwab from this integration with Practifi a tick will appear in the SENT column for that contact, and will not be available to be sent again.

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 On clicking the “Send to Schwab” button, if the Advisor is required to enter an OTP, and the previous code has expired (after 8 hours, as determined by Schwab) a panel requiring the entry of a new OTP will appear.  Enter the OTP from the token or app, and click OK to continue.

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If no initial errors in Contact data have been found in the contact a success message will appear.

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There is basic validation of contact data before it is passed to Schwab.  This is in addition to validation performed by Practifi on contact data:

  • First name is not supplied, or greater than 30 characters long
  • Last name is not supplied, or greater than 30 characters long
  • City is not supplied
  • State is not supplied
  • ZIP is not supplied
  • First or last name has special characters in it (apostrophe, single quotes, hypen)
  • More than 15 contacts passed to Schwab from the contact list

An example:

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Initiating Digital Account Opening (DAO)

Purpose

The Practifi Team member panel (ie the Advisor on the client account) can initiate the process of opening accounts within Schwab for their Contacts already sent to Schwab, either by the previous steps (send Contact to Schwab) or contacts sent even earlier and registered in Schwab. 

The Schwab DAO wizard panel opens, and guides the user through steps of

  1. Selecting the Contact for whom the account should be opened
  2. Selecting the Schwab Master Account under which the Contact’s account should be opened (relevant only to Schwab, not the Practifi contact)
  3. Selecting the type of Schwab account to be opened
  4. Dragging the previously supplied Contact from the list of Contacts across to the landing pad, or creating a new contact entirely within Schwab
  5. The wizard will validate the fields and valued supplied in the Contact against the requirements of the type of account being opened, and advise the user if edits or additional information is required to complete the account opening process.

Initiate DAO Wizard

Initiate Schwab DAO wizard (usually after contacts sent if no contacts at all) by pressing the Schwab DAO button from the Team Member (Advisor) view.

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A request for a One Time Password may appear at this point.

This initiates the Schwab DAO Wizard, which takes some moments to prepare and present.

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In DAO wizard, select the Schwab master account to use as the base account to which the Contact’s account should be attached. This is a relevant consideration for the Advisor in their working arrangements with Schwab:

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In DAO wizard, an indication that imported contacts have been received and can be worked with is shown by the Green message box. Note the range of Schwab account types which can be opened by this process:

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In DAO wizard, the Contact for whom an account should be created can be dragged from the left-side list across to the launchpad.

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The Wizard then validates the data in the Contact and indicates if editing is required before the account opening process can continue:

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Clicking on the “Edit” link at the end of the message opens the DAO Wizard fields panel, which indicates which fields are in error and need to be corrected.

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An example of the errors detected in this Contact which requires correction for this particular account type is shown below:

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Ideal Flow

Once a Contact has been corrected with the required information the following is the expected flow for opening an account:

Dragging of corrected Contact to launchpad

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No errors detected during validation, and can proceed to open the account

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Confirmation panel to open account:

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At this point the process will continue within Schwab, which includes the issuing of a set of documents in a Digital Envelope to the contact(s) for whom the account(s) are being opened.  These need to be digitally signed and submitted back to Schwab.  The detailed progress, and more, of this process is monitored using the Schwab Advisor Center website.

Notification of Alerts

Alerts from Schwab will be viewable from three places in Practifi:

  1. List of Alerts appearing under “Team Member -> Schwab Alerts”
  2. As a list under the Notification bell for the Team Member
  3. A count Tile on the At A Glance page

Alerts older than the threshold days set for the Practifi instance for the customer will not appear in the list (typically greater than 90 days since being issued)

List of Alerts

The Alerts from Schwab appear in a list, with filters.  They also appear as list under the Notification Bell.

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The Alerts to display can be further filtered using the dropdown.

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For users who are required to supply an OTP as part of their login to Schwab, their alerts will only appear upon clicking the Synch Alerts button in the top right.  Those users without such requirement will see their alerts immediately (as they are issued), but may also initiate an update by clicking the same button.

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Further Details of Alert

Clicking on the arrow along the left side of the alert line will show more details of the alert, as reported by Schwab.

The details of the message are what has been passed back from Schwab.

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Further details of alerts and messages from Schwab can be viewed under the Data Management > Logs tab.  This lists the technical content of messages between the systems and is useful to detailed problem diagnosis

Tile Counter

A count of DAO “Envelopes Ready for Review” by the Team Member (the Advisor) is displayed on the “At A Glance” page of the Advisor.  These are account forms e-signed by the client and awaiting review by the Advisor.  

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At this point the Advisor will click on the tile, which will deep link to the “Schwab Advisor Center WIP” panel.  On clicking this tile the Advisor will review documentation, update details elsewhere in the Schwab systems, and progress the Account Opening to completion, all within the WIP panel.  Note that the counter on the tile clears to Zero once the button is pushed, on the assumption that the Advisor will review all outstanding account forms in the one sitting.  

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After Account is Opened

The system will continue to monitor the Schwab alerts stream looking for messages that the Account has been opened.  This occurs in the background.  The Account number is read from the Alert and is stored in a Practifi mapping table, ready to be linked to a Practifi client.  See also the Auto Map New Account button on the Data Management > Schwab Accounts panel, following,

Manual Account Mapping

Where an account has finally been opened by Schwab, Practifi will normally associate the opened account with the Contact supplied at the start of the account opening process.  However, in the event that multiple accounts are opened for the same Contact at around the same time, or a Practifi Contact should be associated (or disassociated) with a Schwab Account, the Data Management > Schwab Accounts panel allows the Contact to be mapped to other Contacts as needed.

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 Edit an Account line to add or change the Contact in Practifi associated with this Schwab Account.  

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A check of Schwab Accounts which may have been completed since the last overnight synch between Schwab and Practifi can be initiated by clicking the Auto Map New Account button on the mapping panel.

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