Charity taps chip cards to disburse donations in drought-hit Kenya

Charity taps chip cards to disburse donations in drought-hit Kenya

The SOS Children's Villages charity has teamed up with local vendor Paystream to provide drought-affected people in Northern Kenya with contactless cards for buying food,

The traditional cash-based method of distributing food aid can often lead to the misappropriation of funds, say the partners.

The new contactless cards can only be used at charity-approved outlets for the purchase of food supplies, as intended by Aid agencies and their donors, helping to ensure money gets to the right people and is spent on the right things.

SOS Children's Villages and Paystream have devised a pre-loaded card that can be used at specified POS terminals supplied to participating stores, letting villagers purchase supplies directly from the shops in their areas.

The charity is working with communities to educate them on how the system works, the money that each card holds and the kind of food stuff that they are allowed to buy.

Paystream says that transactions are secure, fast and efficient, significantly reducing the administration previously required to get funds to where they are most needed.

Transactions originate from approved card holders to POS devices deployed by Paystream to appointed stores. The charity's portal sets descriptions and payment details for the shopkeepers with data exported into SOS packages for accounts reconciliation and visibility of payees.

Sam Ndegwa, CEO, Paystream, says: "The benefits of being able to pay by smart card are endless, not only is it convenient, but the automated payments offer security for the merchant and SOS, and makes for easy monitoring, and management reconciliation. We are currently trialling for 6 months with three stores in Marsabit, but are looking to roll similar programmes out further across East Africa."

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