Most providers of defined contribution plans have executed, or plan to implement, initiatives to offer mobile technology capabilities to financial advisors and other intermediaries, according to a new report.
LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., discloses this finding in a survey,” Moving Ahead with Mobile: Mobile Technology Initiatives among Defined Contribution Plan Providers.” Based on LIMRA’s survey of 19 plan providers in the fall of 2012, the report explores how the companies are using mobile technologies and the benefits and best practices that are emerging.
The survey reveals that while only four of the 19 responding companies have current mobile initiatives for advisors and intermediaries, an additional eight companies plan to offer them mobile capabilities.
The survey adds that nearly 8 in 10 of the plan providers have launched mobile initiatives (13 companies) focused on plan participants or plan to launch one (two companies). The remaining four respondents have neither current nor planned mobile initiatives.
“Although development and enhancement of websites continue to be essential, increasing ownership of mobile devices makes it important for plan providers to extend access to information and services via mobile devices,” the survey states. “It is likely that demand for mobile access to information and services for defined contribution plans will increase as device adoption increases.”
The largest number of survey participants (7) plan to develop mobile apps, followed by mobile version of their websites (5). An additional three companies indicate they intend to modify their web sites to be “mobile-friendly.”
Nearly all plan providers with mobile initiatives are currently using HTML5 (7 companies) or plan to use HTML 5 (also 7 companies). The fifth iteration of HTML, a computer programming markup language, HTML5 is used for structuring and presenting content on the Web and is a core technology of the Internet.
The survey observes also that two in three plan providers with current or planned mobile initiatives have created a mobile strategy. Most plan providers (13 of the 19 companies) aim to provide better service to plan participants. Other objectives cited in the survey include:
Keeping pace with competitors (8 companies);
Keeping pace with participant demand (4 companies);
Keeping pace with advisor demand (3 companies);
Providing better service to advisors (3 companies); and
Keeping pace with plan sponsor demand (3 companies).