• Chris Brits - CEO, EBnet

Smartphones and their use for retirement funds

Despite the recent launch of the latest Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy 10 and other tech giants latest gadgets, smartphone sales worldwide are on the decline. The market seems to be nearing saturation point and this phenomenon is seen across all brands.

However, a few pockets of potential growth still remains open, most significantly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This is a market the retirement industry can still explore in its quest to better communicate with and educate retirement fund members.

For many people, they’ve become inextricably intertwined with their smartphones and for most, it’s the 1st thing you check when waking up in the morning as well as the last thing you interact with before you go to sleep.

The most effective way is to communicate with people using the devices they already use on a daily basis and smartphones creates exactly that opportunity.

There are several ways in which this can be done:

Smartphone Apps

Creating a bespoke App for a specific employer allowing secure member access to a variety of functions like updating personal information, beneficiary nominations, retirement fund and medical aid information, etc.

Apps can be written in such a way as to interface with other apps and act as a central portal to access the different areas.

Electronic member newsletters and benefit booklets

Fund and company Newsletters as well as member information booklets and many more can be distributed through this portal. The content does not have to be data-heavy and can be facilitated via online readers instead of having to download PDF files. The latter is of course still available, should the user wish to do so.

Fund explanatory and “How to…” Videos

Simple, white-board type explanatory videos showing the workings and benefits of the fund are very effective in bringing the concept across. Videos can also have a voice-track in any of the different languages, thus enhancing understanding even more amongst members who have English as a second language.

Video technology is overtaking print rapidly in its effectiveness in delivering the message – see also the recent article “Multi-media video tops printed material”</