• Zeldeen Muller

Are online elections a viable option for ALL funds?

The Digital Revolution has transformed the way that businesses operate and attempt to meet their goals. Over the past five years, the move away from paper to digital has resulted in this era in history being dubbed The Fourth Industrial Revolution. The retirement and pension funds industry has been no exception in adapting to these giant technological leaps, and online election software is one solution that simplifies these big adjustments.

Online election tools have begun to pop up in the market, with features that allow funds to conduct all their corporate election processes on the web. On these platforms, users can nominate fellow members, view CVs and images of nominees, vote for nominees, and even request assistance where they need it. Every step of the traditional election process can suddenly be handled in a few clicks.

How smartphones have revolutionised online voting

Another great shift in the digital sphere has been the rise of the smartphone. In a recent study, ICASA recorded smartphone subscriptions at 46.9 million as at 30 September 2018. People from all demographic groups are becoming increasingly reliant on smartphones to conduct their daily business. With virtual elections, voters can access the election platform from their smartphones, from any place, and at any time.

Are we including normal cell phone users?

Funds and companies can offer SMS voting as a means of participation for those members who do not have smartphones. SMS voting has become an increasingly preferred method of conducting elections, especially favoured because the client can choose to pay, and the fund members need incur no additional costs.

With the growing global emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendly business practises, it’s no surprise that so many businesses are turning to paperless processes.

While voting digitally is still in its early days of adoption into the industry, the feedback available suggests that it is the easiest, most cost-effective and efficient solution for fund members, a position supported by high online engagement rates.

We look forward to seeing how this changes and improves industry practices in the years to come.