Kotani Pay, a Kenyan-based digital currency services company that operates outside the market, has signed an agreement to transfer Universal Basic Income (UBI) payments to African refugees. Working with the Refugee Integration Organization (RIO) and Impact Market, the fintech startup will use Celo’s blockchain to ensure payments reach beneficiaries.
Using the lock without the Internet
According to a recent news article by Kotani Pei, the startup’s partnership with RIO and Impact Market will also benefit those without smartphones. Kotani Pei comments on this unique feature:
(The Partnership) is promoting the unprecedented adoption of UBI with a stabilizer available to non-smartphone users. This is a groundbreaking achievement in the world of WBI, digital currency and refugee inclusion.
The fintech startup adds that it offers a familiar interface that works on feature phones. This interface eliminates the need for an internet connection when interacting with blockchain protocols, which are primarily designed for smartphone users.
For its part, RIO says the use of Celo’s blockchain will definitely help keep fraud and corruption out of the program by ensuring that every dollar gets to the people it is intended for once.
UBI does not increase dependency
At the same time, the marketing director of Kotani Pei, Brian Kimoto, gave some details about the funds that will be distributed and the number of refugees involved in the process. Kimoto stated:
The program will provide assistance to 5,000 refugees. Refugees can apply for the equivalent of US$1 (100 shillings) in Selo dollars (SDC) per day, up to a maximum of US$400 (40,000 shillings) per month. A pilot project is currently underway with 1,000 refugees and the remaining 4,000 will be added in the coming months.
Meanwhile, the RIO in the central post rejects the claim that this PBI program could breed addiction syndrome in refugees. According to the NGOs, UBI should not be used as the sole means of economic development. Instead, payments should be linked to entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurship awareness and other financial inclusion services, such as micro-credit, can be combined.
Do you think blockchain offers a better way to transfer payments to refugees? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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