Smart Savings on your own terms


Pennysmart is a savings platform that helps people achieve financial freedom by saving and investing on their own terms, without restrictions.

Users can create as many goals as you want to achieve, set a target savings amount, a target completion date and make deposits anytime and automatically save on your schedule. Users will earn an interest of 12% per annum. You can start saving with as low as GHC 5. Pennysmart was looking to introduce a mobile app for the product, to redesign the overall look of the platform and to add new features.

The Problem

In Ghana and most Developing parts of the world, people especially millenials find it hard to save due to either lack of discipline or low earning income level. Traditional banks also don't help. You can access your money anytime. There is no discipline or monitoring except you saved your money as a Fixed Deposit. The interest received in saving using your traditional bank account is usually lower than 8%. According to a current user of Pennysmart, he stated that 'I had really had trouble saving. Using bank savings account wasn't and still isn't ideal. You end up 'tapping' into it when you really need cash for something quick'.

My role

UX Strategy, Wireframing, UI Design, Prototype Testing


Ajayi Damilola - Product Design
Adedayo Moshood - Frontend Engineer
Bello Oladipupo - Backend Engineer

Pennysmart Customer Portal

I conducted research into their existing users. Luckily, Pennysmart being user driven always featured a user on their blog every month. This helped in providing insights into their existing users.

To further complement this, I reached out to some of their users to better understand what their pain points were, how they saved and what struggles they have with saving.

Survey questions:
  • Have you had troubles saving? If yes, what were the issues you had?
  • What have you saved for on Pennysmart?
  • Have you had troubles saving on Pennysmart? What are the troubles you currently have
  • What method do you use the most for saving on Pennysmart? Bank transfer, Debit Card, Mobile Money
  • 85% of the current users saved using mobile money, while 15% saved using their bank.
  • Automated savings wasn't available for mobile money and only for banks. This meant that users using mobile money still struggled heavily with savings despite using the platform.
  • They want a mobile app for easy access and tracking.
  • 68% of the users only saved for emergency funds.

I synthesized my findings and created a user flow for the application using Whimsical to help visualize the steps a user will take to save on the app.

Pennysmart Customer Portal

I created wireframes for the mobile app using Whimsical and shared with the stakeholders for feedback. They provided insights which led to changes.

Pennysmart Customer Portal Wireframe

Creating the visual design

Before starting the visual design, I went through other financial apps to pick inspiration from. My major guidelines for the mobile app was: simplicity. Pennysmart had also recently undergone a rebranding. Using these new brand guidelines, I utilized Figma's component feature a lot to create a small design system for the app.

Pennysmart Design System

Some of the key features of the app are:

Create Savings
Creating a savings goal

Goals are medium and long term financial commitments. I wanted a seamless approach for customers to create a goal.

Pennysmart Collections

Collections are special goals created in partnership with select companies and businesses to help Pennysmart users make instalmental payment towards a good or service. Earlier in the year, we had tested this feature with by allowing users to save to watch Avengers Infinity wars. The response was great and we were able to rent out a cinema hall for all our users.

Indicina Loan Information
Flex Fund

Some users stated that they were only saving for emergencies and not necessarily for a specific goal. A user stated "I need to be able to access my savings during emergencies without any issue". The goal of pennysmart is that users will be able to lock their goals and can only withdraw on their target dates. But based on the feedback gotten, we decided to create a plan called Flex fund. Flex fund is an account that is used for short term saving. A user can withdraw from this account at anytime without any penalty but funds in this account does not earn any interest. This account is created for all users by default.

Indicina Loan Information
Saving Method

As a product, we have two savings method; via mobile money, or debit card. Because 85% of the current users saved via mobile money, it became important to add automatic savings for mobile money, the same way it is available for debit cards.

Key Insights and Results

Always talk to the users regardless. It was easier to assume I understood the users because of my own usage of other savings platforms. If I didn't talk to the users, I wouldn't have found out that mobile money was the major savings method in use. This helped changed the dynamics of how I was thinking about the design.