The activities of new entrants acting as disruptors means that Australian superannuation funds cannot afford to ignore the reality of technological change and its impact on member interactions.
That was the bottom line of a Super Review editor’s roundtable sponsored by Bravura Solutions and held in Sydney last week.
The roundtable, attended by fund chief executives, industry consultants and administrators agreed that superannuation funds could no longer afford to be laggards where technology was concerned.
Mercer Administration Services leader, Jo-Anne Bloch set the tone of the roundtable when she said that the Australian superannuation industry had not been fast enough in embracing technological change because of the complexity of the superannuation industry.
However, she said that complexity could no longer be used as an excuse because there were too many dangers entailed in being left behind.
“Those obstacles have to go because we’ve got the disruptors and they will force us forward,” Bloch said.
EISS Superannuation chief executive, Alex Hutchison said members expected funds to gather information on them and deliver a customised service.
“Data is king and technology allows us to effectively educate and engage to give them a customised service,” he said. “If you don’t do that you’ll lose them.”
“Retention is key and richness of data is key to, as much as possible, make the right decisions,” Hutchison said.
However, legalsuper chief executive, Andrew Proebstl warned that technology of itself did not represent a panacea for superannuation funds and that a key element was having the right people to drive and learn from the technology.
However, he agreed with the other roundtable participants that simplicity represented a key to keeping members happy and engaged.
NGS Super chief risk and governance officer, Ben Facer said the challenge for funds lay in translating technology into an experience for members.
“Technology can be cold and it can be hard and you need to make sure you have the right technology in place,” he said.