World Vision Cash Transfer Strategy
Together with technology partners, WVTL developed a digital transfer system based upon a blockchain known as Kartaun Bele. This digital voucher platform enables people, businesses, and organizations to make secure transfers, and store value using personal NFC enable smartcards and a smaller number of smartphones as terminals. It is designed for the development community of Timor-Leste where network reliability is a problem, as the digital voucher system can withstand intermittent connectivity since it uses blockchain technology to improve security in the system.
The Kartaun Bele was intended to make it possible for remote rural populations to get access to basic aid services, by reducing the cost of transferring funds compared with available traditional banking services. Although conceived as a service to meet the needs of the development community, the partnership of multiple stakeholders resulted in a blended approach and the establishment of BelePay – a non-registered commercial entity. BelePay aspired to enter the market as a Payment Services Provider (PSP) and made a request to the central bank to seek permission to operate. Permission was denied to BelePay to act as a PSP of the Kartaun Bele system. In that correspondence, the central bank specifically named five licensed financial institutions that World Vision could, at their discretion, collaborate with to meet their core objectives while remaining within the purview and compliance of the central bank. At that time, WVTL was distributing cash transfer assistance in aid for work programs to more than 3000 beneficiaries and had programs requiring it to scale to over 10,000 within the year.
PHB, with a clear understanding of the opportunity for Kartaun Bele as well as the context of Timor Leste, was contracted to formulate and design a partnership strategy that would allow WVTL to continue to use Kartaun Bele and maintain compliance with the Central Bank. After completing internal and external gap assessments, it would be critical to outline proposed commercial terms, financial flows, segregation of duties and reporting obligations to assure compliance and mitigate risks.
PHB was able to identify a leading Microfinance Institution (Kaebauk Inventimentu no Finansas) with the capacity and interest to engage in a strategic relationship with WVTL to manage the Kartaun Bele platform. PHB in close collaboration with WVTL was able to craft a proposal for the partnership that has to lead to the signing of an MOU between the parties and a plan for integration of Katrtaun Bele into the core banking systems of KIF.