It’s day one after the ASFA conference, and there’s a lot to digest. Over the past 2 days SuperAPI attended the ASFA conference as exhibitors. The outlay to book and brand our booth was the biggest marketing outlay we’ve made so far, but I’m glad to say it was 100% worth it. The conversations we’ve had over the past two days have been incredibly supportive of our product and vision for the future, and eye openning towards to what is already possible within the ecosystem and what will be possible next.
The technology that drives super has been difficult to grok from the outside. It’s easy to believe it doesn’t exist, that the industry runs in the absence of modern tech, without API’s, without the tools & technologies that have transformed other segements of the financial industry.
But the technology is there, and it is running our super industry. It’s just not communicated as a developer would expect. There aren’t public docs. There aren’t unified interfaces. There are standards, but there is a history lesson to every standard to understand why many implementation differ in practice.
The evolution in product marketing for technical, developer oriented products, hasn’t hit the super industry. And that’s to be expected. There are a coupe of notable exceptions (Certane’s (ex-Sargon) Impact member management product docs). But generally, docs are non-public, product details are difficult to gather and require going through a sales process to access.
But the technology is there, and it’s fit for purpose. The ATO’s new Stapling API (despite the largely unwarranted negative feedback) is fit for purpose. SuperStream enables interconnectivity between super industry participants that could be better leveraged to enable the policy goals of Pay Day Super, and beyond. Bravura, GBST, SS&C, Novigi, SuperWare and more are building the technology that drives the superannuation industry, and it’s good. What holds them back, compared to other tech industries, is the non-public nature of their offerings. Removing friction from the developer experience is key to increasing the number of solutions in market that drive forward an industry. Good developers love to get things done, and when artificial barriers start to slow the down they look for an alternative route. When non-public and friction filled experiences are the norm, they’ll look to another industry to deliver those innovations. And that why we’ve seen other fintech industries evolve so significantly over the past 10 years, while super has stayed much the same.
But the drive forward towards Pay Day Super has everyone in the industry asking the right questions.