COVID-19: Paving The Way for Innovation and Financial Inclusion
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COVID-19: Paving The Way for Innovation and Financial Inclusion

by Seamfix

Some months back, everyone was hit with a pandemic not experienced before in a long while, affecting a lot of businesses and families. The Corona Virus a.k.a COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives completely.

Who would have thought that there will be a day we will be isolated in our homes or have curfews going out and back? Who would have thought that companies will be forced to implement remote working models, or have most companies closed down permanently due to the effect of the pandemic? Who would have thought that banks will not be open for operations or change opening hours from 10 am to 2 pm only to key customers?

These questions and more come to mind. For what it’s worth, this has taught Nigeria (and the world at large) a lesson to always be ready for any crisis at any given time.

COVID-19 is a test of time for many and most especially the financial sector. More recently, the focus of the Federal Government has been to drive financial inclusion and deepen the penetration of financial services in places that are underbanked and unbanked. Now, with the emergence of the pandemic, this makes it even harder; people keeping a physical distance from each other thereby making it hard to bank more unbanked people.

Now the critical question is how do we achieve financial inclusion despite the pandemic, as Covid-19 cases increase daily and nothing can be predicted right now because policies, strategies, and laws will be affected as well.

This impact of Covid19 has reduced the need to frequently visit the banking hall to perform basic transactions, one day you might just wake up and realize that the banks could be closed for the meantime or just opened for less than the hour that it is currently open for. In such a scenario, agent banking, comprising a network of banking agents who act as physical bank branches, is the answer.

What is agent banking?

Agent Banking means providing limited scale banking and financial services to the underserved population through engaged agents under a valid agency agreement, rather than a teller/ cashier. It is the owner of an outlet who conducts banking transactions on behalf of a bank.

 

The adoption of Agency banking will play an important role in the coming years for financial inclusion. Acting as “proxy banks”, agents will provide individuals and small businesses with the financial services they need to stimulate local development and economic growth.

Also due to this, the previously unbanked and underbanked customers now have easy access to a financial institution near them and The banks will be able to expand their customer base by onboarding new customers who were previously out of their reach.

Mobile Data capture and identity management solution for Agent banking.

It’s time to go digital!

Due to the COVID-19, it might be difficult for these agents to perform some KYC activities like they normally do. However, going digital will eliminate any atom of fear and stress. With a Data Capture and Identity Management platform, agency bankers can easily perform their KYC activities hassle-free. This way data is managed efficiently and allows the agents to perform multiple tasks with ease.

To know more visit bioregistra.com

Data management – Why It Matters and Why It is Important We Get It Right amid Covid-19

by Seamfix

Ensuring Data Trust This Period

The word Data is not just a buzzword, it is something we live and breathe. It is basically everywhere and all around us. We live in a digital world where continually created and captured. With digitalization on the rise around the world, many services are becoming more and more data-driven.

Data has become one of any organization’s most valuable assets – almost every organization uses it for decision making and gets valuable insights that could help them improve products, services, productivity, and customer experience. 

Hence the need for a comprehensive understanding of the collated data, as this will determine the compliance standards to strive for. We understand that data creation and collection can be a daunting task but it is important to note that organizations must lay the right data management foundation now so that they neither get overwhelmed by big data challenges nor fumble the opportunity to drive their business forward. 

The pandemic

Coronavirus

Covid-19 has changed business as we know it and the entirely unprecedented crisis has forced many companies to move to a ‘work-from-home’ model, at a scale that no one planned for. 

Due to the pandemic, companies face pressure from all sides, both from their customers, employees, and the company itself as a whole which has pushed them to sort for better approaches, strategies, and processes that will ease the effect of the crisis.  This pandemic, undoubtedly, will have a ripple effect on the business operations, most especially data capture and management of customer data.

Lockdown measures have necessitated a need to work from home to stop the spread of Covid-19, which is a good thing, but the reality is that some companies might not be able to carry on with their usual business activities; some might have tools used to manage data stationed at the office; some might have decentralized platforms where data is stored which will hinder them from getting sufficient data for a particular purpose; while others might have network issues and so not be able to capture necessary data at the expected time. All of these will have negative effects, one of such can include the mismanagement of data which will give hackers the avenue to compromise data.

It is important that companies are aware of the potential risks and threats to their data so as to ease some of these concerns and gain some insider perspectives and do their research.

BioRegistra vs the Crisis 

BioRegistra is a mobile digitization solution that enables individuals and organizations to convert all kinds of paper forms into digital forms, enhancing the collection of data for business processes. 

With BioRegistra, businesses in every industry can collect different categories of information, including textual and biometric data, and ultimately enhance the running of day-to-day organizational activities.

Noting that BioRegistra is very flexible as it meets every customer’s requirement and adds value to their desired output.

Here are some Unique Value propositions BioRegistra has to offer to companies  during the pandemic: 

  • Mobile: 

While the pandemic still exists and the lockdown is yet to be relaxed fully, BioRegistra as a mobile solution will make it easy for optimum accessibility via a mobile device. This way, you (and your agents) can collect information in any location.

  • Online and offline functionality

Most companies have exhausted data during this pandemic or some suffer poor internet connectivity. With BioRegistra, whether you are connected to the internet or not, BioRegistra is always readily available for data collection. As soon as your internet returns, it synchronizes into the backend.

  • Centralization of forms

This allows for data protection. If your organization operates a lot of forms, BioRegistra will enable you to centralize all of them in one system where they can always be accessed, anytime and anywhere on a mobile device.

  • Real-time access to data

BioRegistra makes it possible for you to collect information and use it immediately to make data-driven decisions for your business.

With all the enabling features of BioRegistra, it is easy to say the crisis has got nothing on the solution.

Click here to know more. 

In Brief: Products and the Pandemic Virtual Event

by Seamfix

As the lockdown continues in countries around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are confined to their homes and most businesses are choosing to go virtual, there’s never been a better time to take the conversation online- from virtual meetings to webinars to online meetups and conferences. 

Last week – on the 9th of April – Seamfix in collaboration with Product Manager Africa, hosted the first-ever virtual event titled ‘The Products and the Pandemic: the Post COVID Realities of how Companies Manage and Innovate Solutions.’

The event brought together a line-up of 4 product minds from  Seamfix, Andela, Copper, and Mylaw.ng to lead the conversation, and over 60 delegates from all around the world to propel them.

If you were unable to make the event or just want a refresher, we have put together a quickfire summary of our highlights from the day. Take a look. 

 

Summary

The virtual event started off with our host Deborah Babudoh (Corporate communications executive) as she gave a brief intro on what the event will be focused on as well as strategies and implementation during this period. 

Our first speaker/presenter Funmilola Aderemi (Project Manager, Seamfix) highlighted the effects of the pandemic on products while elaborating on the Good, Bad, and the pivoting. 

She went further to explain the 5R’s all product managers should take note of this COVID-19 period. 

Resolve– Address the immediate challenges that COVID-19 presents to institutions workforce, customers, technology, and business partners

Resilience– Address  challenges and broader resiliency issues during virus-related shutdowns and economic knock-on effects

Return – Create a detailed plan to return the business to scale quickly as COVID-19 situation evolves and knock-on effects become clearer

Re-imagination– Reimagine the next normal: what a discontinuous shift looks like and how institutions should reinvent.

Reform– Be clear about how regulatory and competitive environments in the industry may shift. 

To conclude her presentation, by suggesting that project managers be poised to strategize along 3 discussed components (identity, collaborate, and innovate) to ensure products outlive the pandemic.

After this, we went straight to the panel session; Our panelists —  Tosin Amusan (Co-founder and business learn for Mylaw.ng), Tobi Otokiti (Product manager, Andela and also the founder of ProductDive), Sefunmi Osinaike (product manager, copper) and finally Funmilola Aderemi (Product manager, Seamfix) — were asked pertinent questions as regards the subject matter.

Some of the questions echoed on traits/behaviors product managers should expect from their product users, things that PMs should prioritize in their products, strategies that can be implemented to improve product relevance, coping with the impact of covid19 on products and offerings, and many more. 

The session ended with a question and answer session where the audience got to ask questions bothering them and other suggestions and recommendations based on real-life scenarios. 

It was an interesting and insightful session! Want to know more?

Click here and use this password (6q*%7?g.) to listen and be a part of the wonderful experience! 

COVID-19: What’s Happening to the Self-isolated Individuals?

by Seamfix

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, countries are putting a mandate on Social Distancing, Self-isolation and Quarantine.

What do these terms mean and how do they apply?

If you sometimes misuse the terms, you’re not alone!

Social distancing is a measure taken by healthy people — to actively keep away from crowded places and maintain a physical distance between other people to avoid getting infected.

Self-isolation is a measure taken to contain the infection transmission chain — by people who suspect they have the virus because they meet one or two stipulated criterion to suggest possible exposure, and thus are asked to stay away from other people and watch out for any symptoms for a period of 14days (which is considered the incubation period for COVID-19).

Quarantine involves keeping people who have tested positive to the virus in a place, like an isolation centre, and managing their symptoms until they become asymptomatic.

With the overwhelming effect of the virus on the healthcare system, it becomes easier to relegate one group of people among the three; the self-isolated individuals. They are in their houses or anywhere else, staying away from people and watching out for symptoms or a lack of it. These individuals will have to actively self-monitor which might include regularly checking temperature and watching out for signs of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath.

What’s happening with the self-isolated individuals?

We can only know when they call!

People under self-isolation or self-quarantine are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people within their homes and communities until their Public Health Authority advises that they are no longer at risk of spreading the virus to others. As test kits become more available, self-isolated individuals may also be directed to a place where they can get tested.

These individuals can only leave their houses for absolutely necessary reasons, such as to seek medical care. If they develop symptoms midway, they are advised to call a doctor, or the National Center for Disease Control to find out what to do. Some with mild cases may be directed to stay home and treat their symptoms as they surface with over-the-counter drugs. However, those with more serious symptoms, or who fit into the higher-risk groups, may be directed to seek immediate medical care.

However, talking about the overwhelmed healthcare system right now; is it really possible for the health providers to take every one of these calls from these individuals and treat as urgent even if it’s just from a scared self-isolated person having a panic attack that presents as COVID-19 symptoms?

No, it isn’t!

Is there a better way to monitor self-isolated individuals?

Yes, there is!

Most of these people in self-isolation are scared and on top of that, have to fight with the feeling of being alone, which is what accounts for the unstable mental health of such individuals. There should be a provision for Remote Monitoring of Self-isolated Individuals so that they can enjoy the benefits of routine checkups by Healthcare providers within their proximity. This is one way to attain proper management of self-isolated individuals, including quick emergency response.

What can technology do to help?

A lot!

For one, a Data Capture and Management System built on technology can simplify remote surveillance and management of self-isolated individuals nationwide, by giving NCDC and Healthcare providers firsthand knowledge of how all self-isolated individuals in their database are feeling at the moment and who needs immediate help.

Does Seamfix have a working solution already?

Yes, we do!

We are pleased to support efforts made by the agency in the fight against Coronavirus by offering a ready-to-use Digital Data Capture and Management Solution to serve as a tool for NCDC and healthcare givers to remotely monitor people in voluntary self-isolation across the country.

The solution has form building capabilities and customizable web-form templates that can be used for two purposes:

1) For admins (NCDC and Healthcare givers) to enrol self-isolated individuals by collecting necessary details such as name, age, address, medical history etc.

2) A Self-isolation Monitoring Sheet to be used by the self-isolated individual to record their symptoms or lack of it, every day until the isolation period is over. The Self-isolation Monitoring Sheet can be shared as a link to individuals anywhere in the country.

Also, it is a mobile solution that works on Android and Windows devices which means, self-isolated individuals can fill the forms using their smartphones or mobile devices, and the admins (NCDC and Healthcare givers) can use their already existing devices to monitor the data. This rules out any need for new hardware devices.

The platform comes fitted with a built-in intuitive dashboard, like this, for the admins (NCDC and Healthcare givers) to see all inputted records in real-time for the purpose of monitoring and to know when they would need to jump in and administer further care.

It works offline which means it can be used in areas where there is poor internet connectivity. Self-isolated individuals can still record their symptoms or lack of it even when their devices are offline. The data will be stored on the device and will sync to the admins’ (NCDC and Healthcare givers) dashboard once the devices detect the internet. However, for the purpose of real-time monitoring and immediate response, the internet is paramount.

Even more, this system can serve as a data field to mine insights to better understand the virus: including the behavioural pattern of the virus in people of different demographic and psychographic groups, the peak time for specific symptom emergence in different cases, even the effect of over-the-counter drugs in curtailing the symptoms. All of these data can go into good use for the proper management of self-isolated individuals.

What is the process flow for this solution?

  1. The solution offers a ready-to-use Self-isolation Monitoring Sheet or an easy-to-use form builder that will allow admins (NCDC and Healthcare givers) to customize the available Self-isolation Monitoring Sheet if they see fit.
  2. It will create a link for the published forms, which can be customized, and shared. These forms can also be embedded in the NCDC or designated hospitals’ websites, shared on social media or sent via email to anyone within the country.
  3. Self-isolated individuals can access the Self-isolation Monitoring Sheet on a smartphone or mobile device on which they can input their symptoms or lack of it every day until the isolation period is over (usually 14days).
  4. The admin dashboard is already set up to churn the data provided by the self-isolated individuals into real-time readable insights.
  5. The solution has full geotagging capabilities that will be necessary to pinpoint the location of all self-isolated individuals on a digital map. Since the data is also location-based, it becomes easy to flag when isolated individuals have moved from their designated locations.
  6. We take GDPR and NDPR seriously by ensuring complete data security at every stage of the data’s lifecycle (at-rest or in-transit), including tight Access Management and Control.

What are some benefits of using the Seamfix self-isolation monitoring tool?

  • To boost remote surveillance of suspected COVID-19 cases.
  • To enable prompt detection of symptomatic persons with COVID-19.
  • To foster effective response to self-isolated individuals and rapid diagnosis.
  • To serve as a platform for efficient COVID-19 suspected case management.
  • To also serve as a starting point for contact tracing and identification of transmission chains.
  • To act as a standard data warehouse for future references and a reliable source for communication.
  • To help clear up bed spaces in the hospital as these patients can be properly taken care of remotely.

Self-isolation is better for everyone when there’s an attentive digital nurse nearby! Ready to get on board?

Together we can work to slow the spread of the virus. #StaySafe

What You Need To Know: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

by Seamfix

The world health organization (WHO) has declared the Coronavirus (Covid-19) a global pandemic, and along with the rest of the world, we’ve been concerned about the rapid spread of the virus and its effect on the country as a whole.

 

What really is coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illnesses.

 

As COVID-19 makes its way across the globe and with everything happening, a lot of people might find it very hard to make critical decisions and perhaps have a lot of questions going through their minds- who to invent the vaccine, when this pandemic will end, where to run to? why it’s taken so long to evacuate affected countries and what to do today about the current situation. I call these the 5w’s of Covid-19. These questions and even more are yet unanswered. 

At Seamfix, we are closely monitoring the situation and will like to share our response and preventive measures put in place to ensure the safety of our clients, employees and overall business.

Here are our safety plans for YOU and US

  1. Non-stop Service and Product Delivery: We will work tirelessly to ensure that all our products and services function as usual without any inconvenience or delay. We are best positioned to continue delivering high-quality services and experiences.
     
  2. Available Customer Service: Feel free to contact us via email and phone call. Kindly note that our Customer Success Team will only be available to pick up chats and phone calls at the usual time (8 am – 5 pm).
     
  3. Business Continuity: You can trust that business will go on seamlessly. We assure you that Seamfix has effective contingency plans for future emergencies, just like this.
     
  4. Postponed Activities: We have deferred all our business travels and upcoming events in affected countries for the time being.
     
  5. Remote Work Schedules: As a precautionary measure, we have incorporated remote and flexible work schedules into our daily work routine. This we did to ensure the safety of our staff and visitors.
     
  6. Healthy Work Environment: We have done a lot in this regard;
  • We are enforcing frequent hand washing habits or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers which we have installed in strategic locations.
  • Employees are mandated to stay home when they feel unwell or self-isolate for 14 days if they have been to a country with high confirmed cases. 
  • We carry out regular temperature checks using sensors at all entry points. Anyone with heightened temperature will be given immediate medical attention.
  • We are ensuring crowd control and social distancing in our various outlets. 

 

Here’s what you should do

  1. Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  2. Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  3. Practice respiratory hygiene and also, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  4. Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. 
  5. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider.

 

We understand these are challenging and sometimes frightening times but we encourage everyone to promote preparedness, positivity and erase potential panic. 

 

We believe we will fight through this!