Legislation driving technology innovation in Super


Innovation driven by the Federal Government’s SuperStream initiative will significantly enhance the level of customer engagement between members and their super funds.

Speaking at FST Media’s 2nd Annual Technology and Innovation – the Future of Superannuation conference in Sydney last week, John Brogden, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Council, said programs including MySuper and SuperSteam are forcing super funds to undertake technology innovation and may result in a solution to the customer engagement puzzle.

“I don’t know many other industries that are being forced to innovate technologically. We are being forced by legislation to consolidate accounts, yet clearly it’s in everyone’s interest to do it. It’s taken legislation for innovation to happen in part because it’s so hard,” he says.

Brogden says superannuation organisations are currently grappling with a severe lack of customer engagement. He says 70 per cent of people are currently disengaged from their superannuation funds, and this raises significant challenges that other financial services organisations do not face.

Further, the elevated life expectancy in Australia forms part of superannuation’s engagement challenge, Brogden adds. With people starting their first super funds at just 20 years-of-age and continuing to work until around 70, sustaining their interest in superannuation will remain a key branding challenge for all funds into the future.

“Who has used an ATM in the last 24 hours? We have an ongoing interaction with our banks,” Brogden says. “Once you set-and-forget the super, you don’t look at it again. Next to the scam letters from Nigeria the least opened mail is the superannuation fund. How do we break through?”

Geoff Summerhayes, Chief Executive Officer of Suncorp Life, believes the catalyst for this breakthrough will be the federal Government’s MySuper product. In addition, the application of gamification within superannuation will enable funds to engage with customers in a way customers feel comfortable with.

“As an industry we need to embrace these trends and move quickly. Our opportunity is to engage customers through technology. It leads to higher levels of trust and greater confidence,” he says. “Thirty years ago people were playing Space Invaders and now everyone is playing Angry Birds. Adult customers can be engaged through games. We have yet to build the bridge from that industry to the super industry.”