I did an all too frequent commute to London this morning. Firstly, I drove to the station. I’ve just had Apple Carplay fitted, which lets me mirror and control my phone’s apps. I needed a bit of energy so “Siri play Queen” (that gives my age away).
In bongs a WhatsApp from my wife. “Siri read WhatsApp”, my hands gripping the steering wheel all the while. Voice recognition has come a long way of late. I remember a less sophisticated system transcribed my name, Graeme Riddoch, as ‘dangerous burglar’!
Technology is improving all the time; it’s fast becoming the way we work, rest and play.
Playing at techno god
Having reached the station car park I would previously have been scuttling around looking for change for a parking ticket. But not now, as I opened the parking app using facial recognition rather than a password. Passwords are one of the main reasons that people give up on technology.
The app spotted me with the GPS function. Car park 2? Yes. One day parking? Yes. Click and done.
Obviously, my train ticket was on an app and I swished through the barrier like a techno god.
I wasn’t doing any of this a couple of years ago. Perhaps the technology wasn’t there - or maybe I hadn’t spotted it. However, once you start using some of these toys and they work, you create an expectation for yourself that all services will work that way too.
One of the biggest drivers of change is the adoption of smartphones and how they are used. The Deloitte 2019 Mobile Consumer Survey finds that 90% of 44-55 year olds and 80% of 55-75 year olds own a smart phone. It’s also the case that smartphones are now the way that most people access the internet.
When was the last time you went out without your phone?
Putting it all together suggests that if you want to get the attention of your customers and deliver a first class service you had better not ignore the smartphone.
Pushing the buttons
Where do we start with passwords? A world of pain. Enough said…
The current generation of phones offer biometric login. Once you have logged into an app for the first time, you then use your thumb print or facial recognition. The pain is gone and the app is readily accessible.
Mobile phones must increasingly form part of an engagement strategy between businesses and consumers. More than three-quarters (79%) of people use their smartphone for reading email; a higher percentage than those who use it for making calls. (Source Email Monday)
Having said that there’s also research showing that people are increasingly deleting e-mails without even opening them.
So, what about sending messages via push notifications? Retail Dive found that push notifications tend to be opened more than e-mails.
And so to the world of pensions, and in particular defined benefit pensions. Largely paper based, unengaging, and with any web activity largely website based rather than through smart phones.
Getting a decent service that members will want to use on a mobile platform is difficult.
One issue is our old friend poor data quality. The next is the administration technology itself. The ways that modern consumers want to use data were never dreamed of when most of the current technology for defined benefits was built.
But what if…
- Members could view their benefits and transfer value in real time.
- Update their details.
- Receive ‘push’ messages that they would read immediately.
- Even complete all their retirement options online if ID validation can be cracked.
And that would be just the start. There’s lots of technology across other sectors that could make a real difference to members. We just need to get started!