Agreements signed for Beta Testing of Digital Wallets/Coupons

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June 29, 2020

Officials of the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and the Department of Social Services, along with representatives from three, private local companies, signed Agreements (Tuesday, June 23, 2020) formalizing the Beta Testing for the use of Digital Wallets and Digital Coupons in the delivery of social assistance to Bahamians.

The signings took place just days after Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, announced during an Official Visit to Freeport, Grand Bahama, June 18-19 that Beta Testing for the Digital Wallets and Digital Coupons in the delivery of social assistance would commence at the “end of this month.”

The Beta Test exercise is expected to complement the ProMIS Web Application initiative to further expand the Ministry’s digitization and modernization process with the introduction of digital wallets and digital coupons. The implementation of ProMIS incorporates a MIS System and online social assistance application process and online management.

The three companies selected for the Beta Testing include: Kanoo, which will be responsible for Food Assistance, Transfer Solution Providers Ltd. (Omni App), and Cash N’ Go which will Beta Test the Rental Assistance component.

Minister Campbell called the signing of the Agreements “historic.” Minister Campbell was accompanied at Tuesday’s signing by: Ms. Phedra Rahming, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development who executed the contracts on behalf of the Ministry; Ms. Lilian Quant-Forbes, Acting Director, Department of Social Services, who witnessed the signing; Ms. Judy L. Simmons, Deputy Director, Information Technology and Communication Unit, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and Mrs. Jaimie Humes, Department of Social Services.

“We have had extensive discussions about what we can do to resolve the issues that bring frustration to both our internal (staff) and external clients (members of the public seeking social assistance); we have been dealing with criticisms about long lines at our centres, and we have had issues of trying to track our clients and so our discussions led to the conclusion that we needed some technological help. Today’s signing signals that the talking has stopped and that it is time to get this show on the road. Nothing that we do is New Providence-centric and so we must be able to offer the same thing to every Family Island.”

Minister Campbell stressed the need to ensure equity in the process.

“We must be able to offer equal opportunity for smaller businesses to participate. It would be pointless to provide our clients with this technology and then they have to catch a cab to find a vendor that is participating and so we want to ensure that we are able to engage community vendors to give our clients a choice,” Minister Campbell added.

Minister Campbell said the use of Digital Wallets and Digital Coupons in the delivery of social assistance will provide social assistance providers with an opportunity to “mitigate, minimize and alleviate” the frustrations of external clients -- particularly those who are most vulnerable.

“The people who are most vulnerable among us have some embedded frustrations and whatever we can do to minimize, mitigate, alleviate, we are duty bound to do. I believe that, but for the Grace of God, today some of us are behind the table providing assistance, tomorrow -- for one incident or accident -- we can be on the other side of the table receiving assistance and so while we have an opportunity now to put in place some protocols that will make the process smooth, we ought to do that.

“This (the use of Digital Wallets and Digital Coupons in the delivery of social assistance) is also intended to ensure that the client is not subjected to any kind of stigma and so I am pleased that we are finally doing this and will bring some much-needed, sustainable relief to both internal (staff) and external clients. I subscribe to the philosophy of total quality management, meaning that I am never satisfied and so when we find a way to do it faster, more efficiently, we will pause for a minute and then look for a way to do it even better -- thereby beginning the cycle all over again,” Minister Campbell added.

Minister Campbell noted that the Beta Testing will be conducted by three, Bahamian companies.

“It warms my heart even more to know that I am doing this with a group of young Bahamian professionals. It speaks well to the wealth of talent and competence that we have here in our country and it speaks well for us in the future as we advance to the next level,” Minister Campbell added.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, Ms. Phedra Rahming (second right), executes the agreement with Cash N’ Go formalizing Cash N’ Go’s role in the Beta Testing Exercise for the use of Digital Wallets and Digital Coupons in the delivery of social assistance to Bahamians. Cash N’ Go is one of two local companies that will Beta Test Rental Assistance. Pictured (from left) are: Mr. LaMarque Drew, General Manager, Cash N’ Go; Mr. Julian Rolle, General Manager, Cash N’ Go; Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell; Permanent Secretary Rahming, and Ms. Judy L. Simmons, Deputy Director, Information Technology and Communication Unit, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith) 

Mr. Keith Davies, Chief Executive Officer, Kanoo (at left) executes the agreement with formalizing Kanoo’s role in the Beta Testing Exercise for the use of Digital Wallets and Digital Coupons in the delivery of social assistance to Bahamians. Also pictured are: Ms. Judy L. Simmons, Deputy Director, Information Technology and Communication Unit, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

News date : 06/29/2020    Category : About Bahamians, Press Releases

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