PLSA AC 2020: Members’ mobile pension app usage increases 76% ‘due to Covid-19’

The number of pension savers using a mobile app increased by 76 per cent between June 2019-2020, due to Covid-19, Standard Life revealed.

Speaking at the PLSA’s annual conference, Standard Life head of proposition deployment, Donna Walsh, reported a 42 per cent increase in its dashboard usage in the year to June 2020 and a 76 per cent increase in its mobile app usage over that period, with the mobile app “now the preferred digital channel for members”.

“We have seen an increase in engagement digitally,” she said. “I believe that Covid-19 has exacerbated this as people are engaging digitally with friends, family and colleagues due to Covid-19.”

A poll taken at the presentation found 34 per cent of viewers think more personalisation, including videos, would be the best way to improve member engagement, followed by the pension dashboard with 26 per cent of the vote.

“Our most recent round of member research showed that members preferred to engage with or digest information about their pension through videos or infographics,” Walsh agreed.

She highlighted a personalised video pilot scheme trialled by Standard Life to 65,000 members, with the videos including real-time pension valuations.

“We saw that members that viewed the videos were four times more likely to increase their pension contributions,” Walsh revealed.

When questioned about the use of ‘gamification’ to help engage younger savers, Walsh stated that feedback from Standard Life’s member testing and research on gamification found that people did not want it to be too ‘gimmicky’, but to still have the information presented in a ‘formal’ manner, as saving into a pension is important. “We weren’t expecting that insight to come back,” Walsh added.

PLSA policy lead for lifetime savings, George Currie, also speaking at the presentation, agreed, stating: “I don’t think we need to trivialise pensions or make it gimmicky to engage young people. I do think it is really about understanding the priorities of young people and how they would like to see their money invested.”

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