Delivering transparent pensions online
Finance Matters wanted transparency. It wanted to empower its
clients. It also wanted a customer-centric, user-friendly approach
to the world of pensions and it wanted to do it online.
"This project was our number one priority. It was vital for us in
seeing the company move forward," recalls Barry Coleman, Chief
Executive of Finance Matters.
Finance Matters knew turning its concept of making pensions
accessible into reality would be difficult.
"The speed of design and implementation was
Barry Coleman, CEO, Finance Matters
A unique offer
What Finance Matters proposed was unmatched worldwide and gave
individuals complete control over their pensions. The Pensions
Unplugged concept envisaged pension scheme members being empowered
to dictate where their money iss invested, who manages it and
getting access to their pensions' current value.
"I knew VISION by reputation, I knew of the work they had done on
Intelligent Finance and Bank of Ireland's Banking 365", recalls
Coleman. "I knew they could get the job done."
Finance Matters was capitalising on moves by the Irish government
to open up and promote the pensions market in Ireland. Significant
tax credits on monies invested saw the pensions market grow
25% per annum, with a market value of €886 million annually.
VISION conducted a Design-in-Action™ (DiA), which
Coleman considered "highly valuable, VISION drills down into the
project before taking it on. It allows them to offer an accurate
interpretation of what the results will be."
Prior to the DiA, Finance Matters had intended only to offer this
to individuals and the self-employed rather than to companies. The
DiA allowed them expand their offer, resulting in better returns
for Finance Matters.
VISION scoped the business plan from a customer-centric viewpoint
and, following the planning phase, teams of developers, testers,
business analysts, process designers and security consultants were
mobilised to create a pensions engine with integrated customer and
To proceed with the project, Finance Matters required further
investment. VISION facilitated by establishing contact with an
ebusiness solution provider, Ecceleration, which had already
developed much of the software required. This cut expected costs
substantially and allowed the project to proceed.
Speed to market was critical and the first three months of the
project saw the rapid development of a prototype, allowing VISION
and Finance Matters to further mould the product.
To ensure that Pensionsunplugged.com would be a success online,
VISION ensured the core engine was fully scalable and the user
interface intuitive and functional, enabling individuals, the
self-employed and large corporations to use it with ease.
In addition to the provision of the pensions engine, the content
management capabilities of Ecceleration's software were utilised to
provide clients with customised news related to the scheme they had
A back-office system developed enabled Finance Matters to fully
maintain the system, including the aggregation and submission of
requests for funds from fund managers, thereby lowering associated
costs and increasing profit margins.
Users take control
Typically, pensions houses take one month to implement policy
changes, but Pensionsunplugged.com functionality allowed clients to
make changes online in 48 hours.
Users were empowered to control their pensions, make fund
transfers, alter premium dates and amounts, and conduct comparative
performance assessments of their chosen investment funds against
other available options in the market.
"VISION brought a huge amount in terms of expertise and their
involvement allowed us develop and deliver a range of innovative
and exciting projects in the pension and investments market," said
So impressed was VISION with the pensions offer that on completion
of the project it invested €2.4 million in Finance Matters.
"We wanted someone with strength in technology and business
innovation who would understand our business drivers. From the
outset we had every confidence VISION would deliver - they designed
the business and the technology to deliver what was really
important for our pioneering product", Barry Coleman,
CEO, Finance Matters