To help brokers get a jump start on the excise tax and remain ahead of the curve on future technology, Bruce Goin, managing principal for OneDigital, and Dayne Williams, CEO of PlanSource, told attendees at EBA’s Workplace Benefits Summit in Nashville, Tenn., recently they will need to wear many hats.
Williams said it is very important to always remain on top of the changes that are happening in technology because the changes can be so drastic that they could alter a business immensely.
“When you think about the Ubers and the Airbnb’s, these companies didn’t even exist 10 years ago. And now, all of the sudden the markets are utilizing technology to enable change to happen a lot faster,” Williams said. “When you think about healthcare, we have hospitals with teledocs that are coming out now and they have a big advantage because they are coming out with fresh technology. They don’t have technical debt at all, like a lot of carriers that have been in the business for 20 years; and they have a common focus, which is engaging the consumer.”
Williams added that mobile technology is one of the biggest drivers when it comes to benefits technology and compliance, as one in five Americans are smart-phone dependent.
“People talk about the challenges of technology going into everyday utilization and a lot of it is connectivity,” Williams said. “Ninety-five percent of Americans use their smartphones to access the Internet and that is their main source.”
Also see: “What taxes will employees pay in retirement?”
Four in 10 TurboTax consumers used mobile devices while H&R Block saw a 200% increase in mobile use this past year, the presentation pointed out, emphasizing that communication of benefits must utilize all facets of technology, especially through access to text, email and social media communications.
“About 82% of all Internet traffic by 2020 — this is a Cisco stat — will be video related,” Williams said. “Eight billion videos a day will be watched on Facebook and [employees] love videos, so you are going to have to use video.”
Goin said OneDigital manages to keep up with the changing trends of technology by consistently having at least 10 to 15 staff members on a digital team to monitor these changes on a day to day basis.
“I think what makes it really nice is that it allows us to make an investment in technology and really help our clients manage the deliverable and take them all the way through the process from start to finish,” Goin said. “If you’re in the broker space or consultant space, I would tell you to really learn all of your systems really well.”
Williams said some of the voluntary benefits brokers should be looking out for are student loan repayment, financial wellness, identity theft and pet insurance. Brokers can take an active role in assisting their clients by providing a staff with tech-savvy members and to be ready to make an investment with resources and capacity.
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