Mobile Transaction Capabilities Increasingly Available to Participants

Every retirement plan provider analyzed by Corporate Insight enables participants to adjust their contribution rates from at least one mobile platform.

Mobile transaction capabilities from retirement plan providers have gained much traction over the last few years, according to a new report from Corporate Insight.

Thirteen of the 19 firms covered by its Retirement Plan Monitor (68%) provide at least one transaction on a phone application, tablet app or optimized mobile website. Of these 13 firms, 69% feature a mobile site, 62% offer a phone app and 46% provide a tablet app that include at least one transaction capability.

These statistics all represent significant increases from when Corporate Insight first analyzed the topic of mobile app transactions in the February 2014 Retirement Plan Monitor Report, when only five of the 17 total firms (29%) offered a transactional app including four phone apps and one tablet app.

Every firm covered in the report enables participants to adjust their contribution rates from at least one mobile platform—by far the most commonly offered mobile transaction. No other transaction is available on more than one mobile platform of at least half the firms. Half the firms provide a mobile fund exchange transaction, 33% offer an optimized future investment allocations change transaction and 25% provide an optimized rebalance account option.

NEXT: Easy access and help features

Retirement plan providers generally offer easy access to transactions upon login to a mobile platform. Seven firms (58%) provide a homepage or plan overview page quick link to at least one transaction, and two firms (17%) position the transaction directly on the homepage. Further, 58% percent of firms provide universal access to transactions through a static menu link, and 33% centrally house all mobile transactions within a unified section.

The firms provide an inconsistent selection of design and help features on the transaction interfaces. While all firms present relevant plan data on at least one transaction interface, such as current contribution rates or holdings details, only 42% supplement the data with charts or graphs.

Two-thirds of firms offer help options, such as detailed instructions, FAQs or balloon tips. Only 33% of firms provide progress meters, and 50% offer quick links to applicable educational content. Approximately 58% provide supplemental tools within the transaction process, usually in the form of a contribution calculator on the contribution rate change transaction interface.

Only one firm requires participants to enter their account password in order to submit a transaction from a mobile platform.