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Snail mail still has legs


People still want to receive important or sensitive information as physical mail, according to Australia Post’s customer survey for December.

About 38% want postal mail from financial institutions including insurers, while 30% prefer email.

Some 51% of the survey’s 2000 respondents have received postal mail from financial institutions, and 92% of those have read it.

Australia Post says the result compares well with research by email marketing business MailChimp, which finds a 19.72% open rate for insurance emails.

The findings come as the Federal Government announces major changes to the mail system and Australia Post forecasts its first annual loss in 30 years due to the decline of postal mail.

They also coincide with a consultation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) into electronic disclosure.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell told the recent Insurance Council of Australia regulatory seminar that technology can be used to deliver disclosure in more innovative ways, with benefits for providers and consumers.

“Providers can use technology to present disclosure in ways that are more engaging and informative for consumers than traditional or printed disclosure documents.”

Insurers may also reduce costs, he says.

ASIC is considering updating its guidance to say that if an insurer has an email address for a client, it will not need special consent to send disclosures electronically.