Disruptive digital technology will revolutionise the superannuation industry

Digital technology, customer centricity and data management were the hot topics at FST Media’s Technology & Innovation – the Future of Superannuation & Wealth Management conferences hosted in Melbourne and Sydney in May. Below we share some key insights from a live poll conducted by ClearPoint into the priorities and challenges facing the industry.

Digital disruptions are biggest game-changer                                                               

54% of the audience saw emerging technologies and digital disruptions as the biggest game changer for superannuation. Disruptive technologies have created innovative business models that didn’t exist before, and customer expectations have forever changed as a result. To stay relevant, super funds will have to adapt to new technologies in order to capture market opportunities and meet changing consumer demands.

“Software is eating the world,” said Jeremy Cooper, Chairman of Retirement Income, Challenger Ltd. in his keynote presentation.

The super industry is moving towards ‘retailisation’of customers; super funds are serving customers directly instead of through the traditional business-to-business structures of the past. As a result, super funds are transforming how they interact and connect with their members, especially as demographics shift to a younger customer base. A key driver for transformation is the need to increase customer engagement and improve customers’ overall experience.

Customers want exceptional digital experiences

50.5% of the audience said that improving digital experience for members and customers will be the top business priority for next year, followed by 21% who said their main focus will be to turn big data into useful data. Carolyn Colley, CEO of Decimal, talked about the move from ‘Fragmented to Frictionless’ when it comes to customer experiences.

“Experiences need to be omni-channel, seamless and insights-driven to build trust and engagement,” says Colley.

To thrive, super funds will have to adopt customer–centric technologies that give customers the experience they want, when and where they want it. That means turning mountains of data into useful customer insights and leveraging online, social and mobile platforms to communicate with younger generations.

The rise of robo-advice

The growing popularity of “robo-advice” in the US is a prime example of a digital disruption that has revolutionised the financial advice sector. Investopedia.com defines “robo-advice” as an ‘online wealth management service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice, without the use of human financial planners.’ Robo-advisors filled a gap in the market by catering to the demand for lower cost, full-service holistic financial advice. The opportunities are huge for those who do it well: Betterment, a US-based robo-advisor who calls itself the ‘Apple of Finance,’ has over US$ 2 billion in investment assets.

So what does this all mean for the superannuation industry? Super funds should look to adopt agile, scalable data management systems that can adapt easily to new digital technology and meet future customer demands. Powerful data analytics and business intelligence should be leveraged to deliver a holistic view of customers’ needs to improve customer engagement. Priority needs to be placed on customer-centric solutions that deliver real-time, flexible and bespoke personalised services on whatever platform the customers want, be it smartphone, tablet or PC.

AlphaCert can help. AlphaCert provides a data management platform that rapidly integrates multiple data streams, validates them and creates a single source of trusted data for investment management. Disruptive digital technology may be revolutionising the super industry, but AlphaCert has already pioneered a solution to ride the revolution.

See the ClearPoint Infographic for the full polling results.

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