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NOW: Pensions

The UK’s first online auto-enrolment pensions sign-up system

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The UK’s first auto-enrolment and sign-up system for pensions.

The Brief

To build a simple and secure web portal that allows businesses to apply for NOW’s auto-enrolment pension scheme through an intuitive online sign-up system.

The Client

Leading pensions provider NOW: Pensions practise a truly modern approach to pensions provision, emphasising transparency and cost-efficiency. With a strong focus on innovation, NOW are determined to promote a retirement savings culture in the UK. Auto-enrolment is considered fundamental to this approach.

Our Solution

Following an intensive period of research in which we interviewed pensions experts, reviewed competitors’ products and reverse engineered pensions legislation, we achieved a clear understanding of the project’s requirements.

Simultaneously, we identified the key user groups and mapped their needs, identified their problems with the current system and researched the types of software they were comfortable with.

Through a process of refining, we arrived at a proof-of-concept interface through which all user groups could perform their tasks at least five times faster than previously.

Finally, we carried out an extensive set of server, client, and end-to-end load tests to ensure all code and functionality was thoroughly checked as the project progressed towards production.

The Tech

Gateway was built using Mongo, Express, Angular and Node (MEAN stack) arranged in a queue-based service-bus architecture.  The stack and architecture were chosen because of their ability to deal with a potentially huge dataset (pensions regulations require data to be kept in perpetuity).

In addition to the main MEAN application we created a business intelligence warehouse and reporting pipeline so that NOW could integrate insights from Gateway with their other business systems.

We also integrated Gateway with their third party payments system, their public-facing website, their CRM (Salesforce) and a third party pensions API gateway (PensionSync).

The Impact

Since launching, the web portal has been used by thousands of businesses and become a key part of the NOW: Pensions business model.

“Outlandish’s value lies in their intelligence, experience and modern agile approach to development. They seamlessly upscaled the teams and rotated resources, so that we were always appropriately staffed, and had continuity over the delivery timeframe. Their technical skill was unparalleled: I’ve seen many companies claim competency, but none have backed-up it up in the way Outlandish did. They’re also very nice people!”

– Peter Thompson, Former Director of IT, NOW: Pensions Ltd