A few weeks ago, I had to change a direct debit with my electricity company.
It was a nightmare.
My mistake was to try and make this relatively simple change over the phone.
Once I’d got through, I had to navigate a seemingly endless menu of choices – “Press 1”, “Press 2”, “Press 7”.
You know what it’s like. You listen carefully to all the choices and then can’t remember which was right for you, so you have to listen to the whole list all over again.
Of course at some stage I pressed the wrong button, so I had to redial and start the whole thing from scratch.
Finally, I got through to a human being and had to answer another endless series of security questions about my mother’s maiden name, my first pet and my children’s birthdays (all seven of them!).
There’s a tendency in our industry to assume that this statistic is mostly about “young people” (of course, what constitutes “young people” tends to change as you get older but in this context, we’re talking about people in their 20s and 30s).
But it’s important to acknowledge that it’s not only millennials who would be more motivated to save if they had better online tools. A pension dashboard is one step in the right direction but a single portal where all your expenses, savings and investments could be viewed is several steps further on.
It’s me, it’s you, it’s everyone.
Age ain't nothing but a number
Every age group is increasingly moving online. According to the Office of National Statistics, almost every single adult in the country aged 54 and under has “recently” used the Internet. So have 90% of adults between the ages of 55 - 64.
“Silver surfers” are a rapidly growing proportion of Internet users. If you recall, a few years back there was a study claiming that younger people were avoiding Facebook because so many of their parents and grandparents were on it…
Way back in ancient history – maybe a decade ago – people might have preferred speaking on the phone to a ‘real person’. Nowadays it seems more convenient and quicker to look for information ourselves online. If it’s not available, we get frustrated.
Pension dashboard and more
Although the methods above are useful, to really engage them you also need to provide material in the way they most want to access it. At the moment that’s online. And there’s every sign that within a year or two, if you’re not communicating with your people through their mobiles as well, your messages won’t be getting through.
This is why we have developed a new online savings dashboard.
It’s not just a basic pension dashboard where people can find information about their workplace pensions, although it does that too. But it’s a sophisticated tool which allows your employees to see all their own financial information in one place, so that they can get a clear picture of their overall financial situation.
It is a very powerful way of motivating your people to visualise the consequences of their savings decisions, and put more money away for their future regardless of their age.
We’ve also started producing a magazine for your employees about money and savings. The aim is to give people the tools to make better financial decisions – and not just lecture them about it.
And if you're interested and would like to discuss how your employees can get their hands on one of these magazines...