Product development and innovation


Product development and innovation

Technological innovation has the power to solve some of the world’s most complex problems. Our focus is on the issue of financial wellbeing, and we work to play our part in addressing existing challenges as well as solving new problems before they occur. Here we outline three examples of our product developments, and how they are helping us to help others.

[Case Study] Accessible pension management: Keystone by Smart

Keystone is Smart’s global retirement platform, for governments, financial institutions and other large organisations. It enables these organisations to work with employers to provide apps, web-based tools and full data migrations so they can provide retirement solutions to pension scheme members all over the world.

In 2023 we launched improvements to the user experience. Our goal was to improve the platform’s inclusivity and accessibility. Based on thorough analysis of user needs through card sorting, tree testing, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys and qualitative user interviews, the team identified user preferences and pain points which informed the redesign of the platform’s user interface, content and navigation structure. It is now easier for all users to navigate and access their pension savings and investment options, particularly for those who may be using a screen reader and other assistive technologies. It is also available in different languages such as Arabic, enabling us to meet the needs of a wider set of clients.

Case studies

Support in the cost of living crisis: the Financial Wellbeing Hub

Supporting people’s financial wellbeing in retirement is a key part of Smart’s mission. The current global cost-of-living crisis means saving for retirement has become increasingly challenging for some.

To address this, our Financial Wellbeing Hub offers Smart Pension Master Trust members in the UK information aimed at improving financial literacy and offering money-management ideas. Members also get free, unlimited access to Smart Rewards, which offers over 1,000 discounts at a number of retailers including supermarkets. 

By improving our communications with members and their employers, we have seen a 310% increase in spend through the Smart Rewards system in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022. This indicates that more people are using Smart Rewards to save on purchases.

Smart Hackathon

At Smart, we proudly organise our annual Hackathon, a dynamic and innovative event that brings together our passionate colleagues to collaborate, create and explore cutting-edge ideas. The primary objective behind hosting the Hackathon is to foster a culture of creativity, problem-solving and cross-functional collaboration among all our colleagues, not just our engineers! During this intense and fun-filled event, participants have 24 hours to work on projects outside their regular roles, encouraging them to think outside the box and push their boundaries. This not only enhances their skills but also sparks new ideas that often lead to groundbreaking solutions and product improvements. 

The theme for the 2022 Hackathon was ‘quality’,  an intentionally broad and subjective topic, inspiring new, innovative ideas. The overall winners were a team who used machine learning and data science to proactively detect anomalies within our database and ensure the quality of our data. It was an incredibly impressive project and has since been deployed into our development pipeline. However, it’s not only the winning team that has the chance to implement their proposal – two other teams have successfully put their ideas into production, too.

Ultimately, the Hackathon has proven to be an invaluable initiative, fuelling innovation, strengthening our team’s bonds and driving continuous improvement within the organisation. You can read blog posts from some of our colleagues here.