Amidst the world of legislative change that the superannuation industry continues to operate in, it is clear the focus of strategic priorities centres on developing and supporting capabilities to drive member outcomes. From basic member information and account balances to member investment and contributions transaction and advice, the development of member portals continues to be on the rise.

Basic functional capabilities for online portals have been around for a while and include things like view personal details, account balance, investment option balances, insurance, transactions, statements. Most member portals also have transactional capabilities – contributions, investment switches, nominate beneficiaries etc.

Pretty much all funds have this, and with legislation like SuperStream, these capabilities have been commoditised – having the basics right is non-negotiable.

I recently asked a number of our consultants for their view on the priorities and next steps for funds as they continue the digital journey. Here is what they had to say.

Create the journey

It sounds so clichéd now but understanding your customer and maintaining their interest could be what will separate good funds from great funds in the near future. The next challenge for funds is dynamically altering the content and experience based on what they know about the customer already and insights into what they may be interested in. Generic ‘one size fits all’ interfaces aren’t effective in the new digital world. Our top three in creating the customer journey are:

  • A great digital on-boarding experience
  • Proactive digital engagement throughout the member’s time with the fund – personalised prompts to members that push them to take positive action based on their customer profile and the things they have done
  • A great digital transition to retirement journey, to extend the member relationship beyond the accumulation phase

Data is Gold

The information a fund has and how it is used to enrich the customer experience is a significant part of building our digital future. Data-mining member’s digital activities alongside their member profile will help determine which components can be used to help build that customer journey – all while maintaining privacy.

As a great example of both using data and building customer experience, an investment website I like to use recognises that I check the rolling investment performances regularly so when I’m next there it takes me directly to that page and tailors its messages to me. I know that I’m still a segment but it doesn’t feel like that when I’m there – It’s a bit like the Apple ‘wish list’.

Self-service is key

Actively looking for opportunities to enhance self-service opportunities on a member portal should be key in developing any transactional capability.

Taking into account Know Your Customer and privacy legislation there is still so much that can be done online using existing secure identity technology. With the exception of documentation needed for special activities such binding beneficiaries and claims, most other processes that follow phone or paper workflow channels can be exposed to a member online self-service.

Conversations through Social Media

Funds can now have ‘conversations’ with their members that they couldn’t before, via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. They can also help to educate members about superannuation and wealth management via websites. They can reach member’s via multiple channels (email, SMS, online, social media etc.).

The next step in social media is to be present and active. Real time videos, tweets and competitions open the door to a continuing presence and help fund become more than just a future retirement plan.

Robo Advice

Opening the door on new opportunities, we are only beginning to see the true potential in the online advice space. Already robo-advice is making headways across the globe. Members are now more aware of their investments and planning for their future than ever before and financial advice is becoming a key component of the customer journey at specific life points. Funds should consider opportunities to provide online advice capability that is specific to a member’s current life experiences.

Digital capability has the potential to impact the retention of members more than any other channel has ever done in years past. If a member is unable to do something or see something in one funds website but can in another, it’s no longer hard for them to change funds. Now is the time to understand your customers, enhance capability and build a great digital experience.


Katherine Forrest
Head of Customer Advocacy & Assurance