Using the Schwab Integration

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Integration Summary

The Schwab Adviser Enrollment 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 enrollment 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 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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Important Note:

If your Advisor firm requires the use of One Time Passwords the overnight synch of Alerts from Schwab should not be configured.  This is because when the overnight job tries to start (at, say, 3am) there is no-one physically able to enter the OTP code.  The user will need to go to the Schwab Alerts panel, and click the Schwab Synch Alerts button to start the process off, supplying the OTP if required.  This can be done at any time during the day.

Advisor Enrollment 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, 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 into the Schwab Advisor Center.
Note: If the Two-Factor Authentication is enabled in Schwab, the user needs to temporarily deactivate it when trying to log in through the Schwab Enrollment link.

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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 are accepted the enrollment into Schwab by the Advisor cannot continue.

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 After clicking on Agree and Enroll into Schwab, the new sub-window pops up, deep linking to the “Schwab Advisor Center” Enrollment 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 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 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 feature following will only appear if the logged on user has completed the Schwab Enrollment 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 clicking on the Schwab Push Contact link (only visible if Schwab integration has been enabled) on a Client record within the Advisor app 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 they will not be listed in the Contacts list again.  They will be available in the Schwab Advisor Center for the account opening step. 

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 On clicking Next, and 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, counting the number of contacts which were 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:

  • 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 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 an 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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Important Note:

This integration relies on there being only one login 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 logons to Schwab do not interfere with the Single Sign On connection to Schwab.  Start by opening Practifi in another browser, or in 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 which can be opened by this process:

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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, 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.

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, we extract the Schwab account id from the alert message text. The design intention is to show the advisors the new schwab accounts which have been opened and accessible by his or her schwab user. Please note 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 issued)

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 requirement will see their alerts after the completion of the Schwab Synch overnight job, but may also initiate an update by clicking the same button.

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Further Details of an Alert

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 Counter

A count of DAO Envelopes Ready for Review for the Advisor appears on the Home page of the Advisor App.  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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