Billed as “Australia’s first superannuation virtual assistant”, Talk to MLC has been rolled out by NAB’s wealth management business to “bridge the engagement gap for Australians and superannuation”.
Available on Google Home devices, the voice-activated assistant can answer 15 of the most common questions asked of MLC, including how to open an MLC account, how to change investment options and how to find lost super.
The aim of the tech is to “make it simpler, clearer and easier for people to connect with their financial future”.
MLC’s customer experience specialist, Peter Forster, added that the virtual assistant will play a “major role” in providing customers with more information, education and transparency on their super account “so they feel more empowered before and during retirement”.
“Speaking to your super fund means getting to know and grow your super more easily, quickly and conveniently, and that has the potential to help millions of Aussies,” Mr Forster said.
“In the near future, we’ll be able to help people with personalised tips to boost their super, give projections of where their super will be at retirement, and speak to them about how investing their money in super instead of spending it could add up. After that, the world is really our oyster.”
MLC believes that the technology will be adopted readily.
Mr Forster said, “Very soon, we expect most people to access their super this way — it’s convenient, you don’t have to remember passwords and the whole experience will be highly personalised.
“The technology took us six weeks to develop and deploy, and we’re in the process of developing other technology at a similar speed that will help to reduce asymmetry of information and further benefit our customers.
“It’s exciting to be creating innovative products and services to help our customers make the most of their super and their money.”
NAB has already launched virtual assistants across several areas of the bank. Last year, it rolled out a “digital virtual banker” for business customers and has also developed the Talk to NAB app for Google Assistant, which can answer several questions on credit cards, personal loans, transaction accounts, travel cards and foreign exchange, as well as some general inquiries (like when cards expire).
The bank has said that it is continuing to experiment with virtual assistants in order to provide real-time service to customers in their channel of choice.
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.