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Merrill Lynch’s mobile benefits site sees 46pc jump in visits

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May 13, 2015

Millennials are driving mobile interaction with benefits plans.

Millennials are driving mobile interaction with benefits plans.

Mobile access is becoming essential to businesses’ benefit offerings, with a 46 percent year-over-year increase in visits to Merrill Lynch’s Benefits OnLine mobile site, reflecting the growth in millennials participating in a 401(k) plan.

Mobile’s growing importance can be attributed in part to millennials’ increasing focus on savings, as 64 percent more employees in this generation started contributing to a 401(k) account in 2014 compared to 2013. The numbers suggest that the financial industry, already a leader in mobile, will continue its push to accommodate the growing number of users using smartphones and tablets to handle important financial transactions.

“With more consumers completing their banking transactions through mobile devices instead of coming to a physical bank location, banks must consider methods through which to push their other products and benefit offerings through mobile,” said Shuli Lowy, marketing director for mobile with Ping Mobile.

“Banks such as Merrill Lynch see the amount of traffic coming in through mobile and are quickly working to respond to that and ensure their mobile experience best positions all their product offerings.”

Growing impact
Compared to 2013, the number of participants who contributed to their 401(k) account increased by 18 percent, according to the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch 401(k) Wellness Scorecard.

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Fidelity’s NetBenefits program for iPad users.

Research shows that nearly nine in 10 insurance and financial services industry experts project that mobile technologies will have a considerable or extreme impact on the industry over the next five years.

This shows why providing employers with mobile solutions that can help their employees better manage their insurance and financial needs is so important.

As more Americans use smartphones to manage their everyday daily lives, employers are demanding additional channels of engagement for their employees so they can more easily stay engaged and be informed regarding their personal finance and retirement accounts.

Providing these employers with mobile solutions helps them empower employees with the information they need, when they need it.

More financial services providers are making it easier for employees to access benefits and retirement savings plans managed by the company through mobile platforms.

For instance, Fidelity Investments has made it easier for employees to access benefits and retirement savings plans managed by the company via a smartphone application.

Driving engagement
The NetBenefits app provides a look into Fidelity workplace and personal accounts to drive deeper employee engagement. It is designed to help employees stay engaged and on track with their retirement and financial goals so they can achieve better outcomes.

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Keeping employees engaged via mobile.

Mobile banking is so frequently accessed that major banking apps remain the top listed apps in the finance category of app stores regardless of the ad campaigns that fuel their growth.

Mobile is also particularly important because not all consumers spend their day sitting in front of a computer. For those that don’t regularly access a desktop, mobile remains the primary method through which they remain digitally connected. That’s why more and more brands are turning to mobile to manage and communicate with employees.

“Mobile banking has reached a point where it is so mainstream that any bank without it is considered way behind the curve,” Ms. Lowy said. “Mobile banking has dramatically changed the format through which customers interact with banks.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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