Often when you think of technology you think of frustrating chat bots, automated phone calls and lots of data that you don’t have time to interpret. But technology and innovation, when executed properly, delivers personalisation, convenience and seamless integration into members’ lives.
According to a recent Ernst & Young (EY) report, 75 per cent of consumers have used FinTech for money transfer or payments service. The revolution is bringing superannuation along for the ride – whether it’s ready or not.
“In a disruptive digital world where change is constant across most people’s lives, C-suite and board members need to instil an innovation culture in order to maximise efficiency and customer service, better service, engage and empower members and employers, and, ultimately, deliver better outcomes and competitiveness,” said Josef Pilger, EY Global Pensions Leader told Superfunds.
Pilger says that the “trust gap” between funds and their members is one of the great issues that innovation can solve. App technology can build long-term trust and loyalty through their value proposition of better customer service.
Promoting a culture of financial well-being
EY recently opened its doors to the burgeoning FinTech community to pitch innovative solutions to the financial wellbeing industry. The competition, called PitchFest, is in its second year.
The aim, Pilger says, is to “show the art of what is possible” to bring about change in the sector.
“[The entrants] highlight where new startup opportunities exist for the FinTech community… they provide some insights for policy makers and regulators to help them better understand the existing barriers for FinTech penetration and startups,” he said.
PitchFest II examined the leading areas that need solutions and came up with five key areas:
- A way to easily select, compare or monitor financial well-being products.
- A digitally integrated proposition customers’ can easily tailor to meet their specific financial well-being needs.
- A way to find value in finance through literacy, engagement and advice.
- An easy way to manage all of the administrative or transactional aspects of financial wellbeing.
- Data driven insights that help to provide the greatest value to each individual.
The cream of the app crop
This year’s PitchFest winner was Map My Plan, an app to help improve financial wellbeing by using an automated platform to build customised financial plans.
According to founder, Paul Feeney, Map My Plan is an advice-based system that is “ultimately helping to decrease financial stress in the workplace”.
“The ideas presented by our five FinTech finalists to industry leaders at the pitch events were truly leading-edge and highlighted the potential for greater collaboration between incumbents and start-ups in this space,” said Pilger.
The Pitchfest short-listed finalists were:
- Mark Zmarzly and Lukas Soltys, Hip Money
Hip Money uses custom savings plan to help reduce mortgages. It not only tracks your savings, but also calculates how much you’re able to reduce your mortgage by.
- Gareth Gumbley, Frollo
Frollo is a customise budgeting tool that aims to increase financial awareness and help reduce stress. It not only tracks all your accounts with a number of financial institutions, but Frollo lets users add their superannuation to the app so they can watch their nest egg grow.
- Mark MacLeod, Roll-it Super
According to Roll-it, 10 million employees leave their choice of super fund to the boss. Roll-it Super is a superannuation comparison tool which tackles employer default funds and aims to empower employees with greater choice.
- Andrew Fleming, Financial Mindfulness
Financial Mindfulness hasn’t launched yet, but watch this space. The app aims to reduce the financial stress we feel every day. It targets the stress we feel while at work and encourages employers to assist their employees in reducing stress around their personal finances.
Consulting firms, like EY, have an imperative to examine what is happening at the technological frontline. In order to best serve their clients, they are finding new ways, like PitchFest, to tap into tech startups, innovation and the new wave of financial services.
Business leaders within the superannuation community also need to start thinking seriously about how to build innovation culture within their organisation so they can connect with their members.
“Most C-suite and boards run some form of regular innovation or digital training,” said Pilger.
“Some boards have also established board sub-committees with external advisers to receive regular updates and evolve current thinking. Many companies set up pilot programs in their own funds to test and learn, as well as enhance their own innovation and digital culture and capabilities.”
The question should no longer be “why” innovation should happen in super, it’s a matter of “how”.
Hip Money is focused on mortgage reduction and makes hitting your savings goals into a huge win. Source: Hip Money
Frollo app interface looks at education and inspiration to improve financial outcomes for users. Source: Mia Kwok