WHAT WE DO
We partner with charities struggling in the absence of banks to deliver financial support directly to people experiencing severe stress in crisis areas. We support them to improve three things that help build confidence of the banks and donors: internal processes, due diligence, and data protection. We strive to maximise the value of donations and gifts, minimise the risks, and build the foundation for sustained recovery in crisis situations.
Amanacard is also specifically designed for Arabic-speaking people seeking sharia-compliant and shared account options for managing their giving and spending. We're the first to provide a bespoke solution for those living in extreme contexts, those who identify with them through familial or cultural ties, and those who simply share our drive to serve people with dignity when they need outside help.
Digital account holders fall into key categories, distinguished by the colour of their Amanacard:
FAMILIES IN NEED
HEALTH & EDUCATION FACILITIES
In unbanked crisis zones, local merchants and facility representatives make it possible for these people and organisations to redeem digital points for cash or goods and services.
Our SecureAid platform and Amana apps streamline the management and tracking of payments, payroll and purchases. Real transactions are mirrored by the exchange of equivalent digital points with a fixed value, for example a dollar or a dose of vaccine.
The first to use the platform were NGOs experiencing payment backlogs of 3-12 months and suspension of critical programmes.
The hope with our support to charities is that, by providing a direct channel to people where they have begun to experience crisis, we will help reduce further displacement and the suffering it brings to those ultimately forced to leave their homeland.
KEEPING THE LIFELINE OPEN
Informal money networks (like ‘hawala’ in the Middle East) are able to continue delivering cash by drawing on available liquidity of third parties; the problem is that these untraceable cash pools comprise both good and bad money, and until now there hasn't been a scalable way either to blend the best of these traditional methods with new processes and systems or to find alternative methods of exchange that would build confidence of the governments and banks responsible for releasing the funds from where they're raised.
Humanitarian crises often occur in places that pose a high regulatory and reputational risk to global banks. They fear fines triggered by investigations (particularly US), headlines about ‘financing terrorists’, and loss of access to the US market/dollar system. Local banks also tend to collapse or lose trust in emergencies.
The stark reality is that 30% of world’s adults live in unbanked crisis-affected zones; four times more are displaced from their homeland than 10 years ago; remittances from family and friends, and increasingly the official aid, for those remaining is in cash, but they will remain cut off from direct banking services due to the trend of 'de-risking'. We are working between very different worlds to achieve breakthroughs and meet the challenge of the World Bank's CFO and Bank of England Governor to "Keep finance safe; but do not shut out the vulnerable".
People do not eat cash in a crisis – they use it to buy essential goods and services, or grow a business in the absence of formal financial products. We have developed, tested and are scaling up the roll-out of various mobile apps that allow senders and recipients to monitor every transaction at the last mile – an independently verified digital record builds whenever a salary, supplier payment or transfer of food, vaccines and other products or services, is registered between two trusted parties. They in turn can leverage their own transaction record to help prove their employment history to prospective employers, identity their family members for social support, and apply for credit if managing a business.
FOR THE LAST MILE
We restore trust at two levels: locally, by consistently delivering practical and dignified material support to people in crisis zones; and globally, by proving for the first time to senders (individuals, governments, charities, banks) that the right people received and moved every cent entrusted to them, while connecting at the human level.
"...building trust takes time, losing it takes mere seconds, and maintaining it may be our most important and difficult objective"
US military general cited in Thompson's Trust is the Coin of the Realm (Oxford University Press)
Trust in formal institutions, such as charities, banks and governments, is at an all-time low.
Edelman Trust Barometer