LFS and Imad Chishti jointly submit HelloCash for the BMZ #SmartDevelopmentHack Hackathon.

The corona shock has placed a heavy burden on developing countries causing enormous social and economic consequences. With #SmartDevelopmentHack the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is calling for innovative digital solutions to tackle the challenges caused by the coronavirus outbreak in low- and middle-income countries.

Currently across the globe, all mobile money services have one common operational struggle ensuring effective cash management for agents and subsequently customers. The bulk of the cost for any service provider is related to cash management. Despite that high cost injection, cash management remains a challenge. Cash management has two aspects;

  1. E-cash: cash in an account primarily needed for cash deposits, sending remittance (domestic) or payments.
  2. Physical cash: Physical cash in hand primarily needed for cash withdrawals and receiving remittance (domestic).

Access to cash is even more challenging in these times with the closure of many businesses, social distancing rules and limited operations. This adversely effects any social welfare program in underdeveloped and developing countries. NGOs, Governments, charities etc. are trying to provide cash to deserving people so they can provide food and other necessities during lock down which has greatly reduced economic activities. However, the current method of disbursements have the risk of aggravating the spread of infection which might become counterproductive. Existing methods have the following issues;

  • Fingerprint scanning for identity verification using device scanners exposes the risk of spreading infection to many.
  • Disbursement at designated camps results in large crowds to gather in a limited space making it difficult to observe social distancing rules.

We want to introduce HelloCash, a specialized platform that provides anyone in need of cash deposit or withdrawal to collaborate directly and manage their cash needs. This peer-to-peer network is specially built only to service cash management needs for people who want to have access to cash through a wide support network. Our solution provides for innovative way of managing digital and physical cash by crowdsourcing. It creates incentives for individuals and businesses with temporary or permanent cash surplus to exchange their cash into digital money, thus enhancing their future possibilities to pay with digital cash. Likewise it eases the cash supply for agents for important Covid19 related use cases, such as the transfer of digital cash into physical cash for relief programmes for the most vulnerable target groups.

Keeping into consideration the challenges associated with cash disbursement programs in the given situation, HelloCash will have following key benefits;

  1. Scalable and self-evolving model creating an ecosystem to support cash management needs by creating a direct link between beneficiaries and cash disbursement service.
  2. Economically and operationally efficient.
  3. Enhanced visibility for disbursement programs on transaction status.
  4. Ability to continuously grow users in the ecosystem, increasing the outreach, speed and quality of service.
  5. Governance & oversight of activities with security and tractability.
  6. Provide opportunities within these economies for people to earn income while supporting the cause.
  7. Access to cash anytime, anywhere. Digital or physical cash.

We invite you to view our submission here and encourage you to suggest a suitable implementation partner for our digital solution through the smartdevelopmenthack website. We will then be matched with implementation partners for the two-day hackathon (May 14th – 15th).