Using the Schwab Integration

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Overview

Our Schwab integration allows the initiation of Schwab's account opening processes within your Practifi organization. This article outlines the integration and how to use the integration.

Please note: This functionality will not be available in your organization if the integration has not been enabled. For information on enabling the integration, please consult our Enabling the Schwab Integration article.

Integration Summary

The Schwab Advisor Enrollment and Digital Account Opening (DAO) enhancement to Practifi allows customers who use Schwab for Custodial services 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 e-signed paperwork from the end client. In order to use the integration, advisors must first enroll themselves into the Schwab Advisor Center. This is done by entering the advisor's username and password, provided separately by Schwab as part of servicing their advisors. The enrollment step is only needed to be completed once.

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 to Practifi, indicating that the account has been successfully created, along with providing 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 paperwork with Schwab to access 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.

One Time Password logins

Schwab may have enrolled the Advisor firm 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 continue to use the Schwab Advisor Center and the Practifi integration without interruption for eight hours. This length is determined and set 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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Please note: If your firm requires the use of One Time Passwords, your fiem should not configure the overnight synch of Alerts from Schwab. When the overnight job tries to start no one can physically enter the OTP code. The user will need to go to the Schwab Alerts panel and select the Schwab Synch Alerts button to start the process off, supplying the OTP if required.  This action can be completed at any time during the day.

Advisor enrollment into Schwab Advisor Center

The user must first be enrolled into the Schwab Advisor Center (SAC) as an authorized user before using the API features of the SAC, particularly the Digital Account Opening feature. This is accessed from the Integrations App, under the Schwab SSO button, and clicking the Go to Schwab Enrollment link. This link will appear if the Advisor has not already been enrolled in the Schwab Advisor Center.
Please note: If the Two-Factor Authentication is enabled in Schwab, the user will need to temporarily deactivate it when logging in through the Schwab Enrollment link.

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The system will prompt the user to read and accept an agreement between the Advisor’s firm and Practifi, required by Schwab. Unless the terms of this form are accepted, the enrollment into Schwab by the Advisor cannot continue.

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After selecting Agree and Enroll into Schwab, the new sub-window pops up and deep links to the Schwab Advisor Center Enrollment wizard.

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The Advisor should enter their UserId and Password (provided by Schwab), check the consent sentence and select Subscribe to complete the enrollment.

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Successfully enrolled screen:

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After successful enrollment, 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 enrollment 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 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 the issue. Some of the known error codes from Schwab are captured in sample screenshots below:

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Using the integration

Sending contacts to Schwab

Please note: This Schwab feature will only appear if the logged-in user has completed the Schwab Enrollment step.

Contacts from Practifi Clients must first be sent to Schwab for use in the Digital Account Opening Wizard as Accountholders. The sending of Practifi client contacts to Schwab is initiated by clicking on the Schwab Push Contact link on a Client record within the Advisor app view that becomes visible once the Schwab integration is enabled: 

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A pop-up window allows the user to send one or multiple or all contacts by checking the box located beside the name on the list of contacts associated with the Client. If the contact has already been sent to Schwab from this integration with Practifi, they will not be listed in the Schwab Push Contacts list. They will be available in the Schwab Advisor Center for the account opening step. 

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On clicking Next, if the Advisor is required to enter an OTP and the previous code has expired after Schwab's limit of eight hours, a panel requiring the entry of a new OTP will appear. Enter the OTP from the token or app, and select OK to continue.

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If no initial errors in Contact record data have been found in the contact, a success message will appear displaying the count of contacts transferred to Schwab.

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. Error messages from this validation include the following:

  • 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, hyphen)
  • More than 15 contacts passed to Schwab from the contact list

An example:

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Initiating Digital Account Opening (DAO)

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

The Schwab DAO wizard panel opens and guides the user through the 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 values supplied in the Contact against 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 Integrations App in Practifi.

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A request for a One Time Password may appear at this point. The Integrations app opens a panel within which global functions for integrations can be viewed and actioned.  

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The link opens a new panel, with three options:

  • Schwab Digital Account Opening wizard
  • Open list of Digital Envelopes
  • View original Schwab access agreement

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Please note: This integration relies on there being only one log in to Schwab by each Advisor at any one time. The most reliable performance is found when the Advisor uses the Practifi system either within a separate browser or in incognito mode so that any prior or simultaneous logins to Schwab do not interfere with the Single Sign On connection to Schwab. Start by opening Practifi in another browser or an incognito browser tab and stay within that selection when accessing Schwab from these links.

View Schwab Access Agreement

Clicking on the Schwab Agreement link shows the text of the agreement with Schwab, which was acknowledged during the Enrollment of the Advisor.

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Example agreement panel

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Click the buttons to the lower-right to leave this panel.

Schwab Digital Account Opening

This link initiates the Schwab DAO Wizard, which takes some moments to prepare and present. In the DAO wizard, select the Schwab master account to use as the base account to which the Contact’s account should be attached. This is information known to the advisor in their working arrangements with Schwab.

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In the 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 that this process can open:

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In the 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, indicating 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:

  1. Dragging of corrected Contact to launchpad.
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  2. No errors were detected during validation and can proceed to open the account.mceclip23.png
  3. Confirmation panel to open an account:mceclip24.png
  4. At this point, the process will continue within Schwab and includes issuing a set of documents in a Digital Envelope to the contacts for whom the account or accounts are being opened. These need to be digitally signed and submitted back to Schwab. The detailed progress and more of this process are monitored using the Schwab Advisor Center website.

List of Accounts

The criteria to display the list of Schwab accounts is based on the feed of a certain alert of the type NEW-ACCT. Every time a NEW-ACCT alert type is received, Practifi extracts the Schwab account id from the alert message text. The design intention is to show the advisors the new Schwab accounts opened and accessible by their Schwab user. It is possible to see new accounts opened by another advisor if sharing rules are in place in a firm's Schwab setup.

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Notification of Alerts

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

  1. Alerts from Schwab are listed on the Integrations App page under the Schwab Alerts dropdown list.   
  2. As a list under the Notification bell for the Team Member.
  3. A count Tile on the Home 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 created.

List of Alerts

The Alerts from Schwab appear in a list with filters. 

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If your Advisor firm requires the use of One Time Passwords (OTP), the overnight synch of Alerts from Schwab should not be configured.  For users who are required to supply an OTP as part of their login to Schwab, their alerts will only appear upon clicking the Schwab Synch Alerts button in the top right.  This can be done at any time during the day.  Those users without such requirements will see their alerts after completing the Schwab Synch overnight job but may also initiate an update by clicking the same button.

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Clicking on the Alert ID in the list of alerts will open additional technical details about the alert as reported by Schwab.

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Home page tile

A count of DAO Envelopes Ready for Review for the Advisor appears on the Home page of the Advisor App in the Schwab Digital Envelope Ready for Review Alerts tile. These are account forms e-signed by the client and awaiting review by the Advisor.  

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To view the details of the Digital Envelopes and process them to completion, the Advisor will log in to the Schwab Advisor Center. The Digital Envelopes may be viewed by navigating to the Integrations App, opening the Schwab SSO button, and clicking the Go to Schwab Digital Envelope Ready for Review link.

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 This will open the Schwab Advisor Center at the envelope review panels.

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