N=5, Amsterdam / ABN AMRO / 2017
We read an interview with Queen Maxima of The Netherlands in Straatjournaal (the Dutch street newspaper) in which she stated that “Not all homeless people are on the streets begging for money for a quick win. Many of them are trying to rebuild their lives.” Our subsequent discussion about this article led to two insights. Firstly, these days we tend to carry little or no cash at all. Secondly, most people would like to help the homeless, but they feel that the money they give basically goes towards supporting addictions. So, we wondered: how can we use financial technology to make it easier to help people in need?
What makes the Helping Heart programme unique is that it is a completely novel use of pre-existing technical solutions. The prototype patch consists of a few tools, hardware and software. The hardware is limited to a mobile phone and a secured payment terminal that supports contactless payments and this is all housed in a custom-designed and 3D-printed housing. Regarding software, we developed a custom application that connects with the payment terminal and manages the payment process. By using the phone’s screen, we show the user what’s happening every step of the way and communicate the process visually and in text on screen. By bringing these components together in a super simple user experience with a clear interface we are able to communicate everything without the need for a tutorial.
Following the successful initial pilot in Amsterdam and Rotterdam in December 2016 we are now collaborating with the Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP) and Five Degrees to run a more extensive pilot in London in early 2018.