Portfolio News

CHATS: Transparent digital cash and voucher transfer to beneficiaries through blockchain

Jan 31 , 2023
Makoko food vendor
On this page

CHATS (Convexity Humanitarian Aid Transfer Solution) enables the transparent transfer of cash and voucher assistance to beneficiaries by leveraging blockchain technology for livelihood programs and logistics management for aid distribution.  


What is CHATS?

CHATS is a blockchain-based smart contract solution that enables donors and NGOs to directly and digitally transfer cash and voucher assistance to refugees,  Iinternally displaced people (IDP), and targeted vulnerable communities and households. This is made possible through a dashboard for donors to manage or donate cash and voucher aid, with a bird’s-eye view of how recipients use funds/items given to them.  Hence, CHATS promotes more transparency in aid disbursement.


Social issues addressed by CHATS

The Convexity team was inspired to build CHATS by the experience of one of its co-founders who worked as a fraud examination consultant for major NGOs working across the Middle East and Africa (MEA). He worked with a team to unearth various cases of fraud and misappropriation of aid funds within different donor projects across the MEA. A recurrent theme of this systemic fraud was the submission of doctored beneficiary details.


In addition, the most vulnerable households were financially excluded.  For instance, due to the socioeconomic effects of Covid-19 lockdowns between April 2020 and May 2021, the Government of Nigeria tried to reach IDPs through some palliative measures. However, getting cash to them proved challenging, as cash needed to be onsite distributed by hand, an exercise highly susceptible to corruption and fraud.


CHATS was then built to improve donor confidence and increase donations coming into Africa while addressing problems in cash and voucher distribution. CHATS gives NGOs and donors visibility of where their aid goes.


Frontier technology

The CHATS solution was built using blockchain technology, whose immutability and transparency allow donors and auditors to track and monitor aid distribution. CHATS makes it possible for all recipients to have a wallet account attached to an identifiable verified individual. Beneficiaries have multiple channels of claiming their aid using USSD, SMS vouchers, QR code, paper voucher and NFC card for beneficiaries and last-mile populations who have no access to a mobile phone and/or internet connectivity. With CHATS, aid is geo-fenced and mapped to prevent disbursement from happening outside authorized locations.


Additionally, CHATS is built with a non-custodial smart contract cryptocurrency fund management system, which allows donors to pause or request donated funds not to be disbursed if foul play is suspected in the disbursement process.


CHATS enables diversity

CHATS was built as an open-source solution to foster  diversity. The team, comprising people from different backgrounds, race, and gender, is committed to contributing our codebase to the world, which lets us test the quality of our solution and provide access to experienced contributors from diverse backgrounds who might be interested in our solution and are capable of growing it.

The Convexity Team

Being open-source can help people facing similar challenges in other parts of the world build their solutions faster or contribute to what we already have to make it more effective and productive.  


What makes CHATS unique?

Unlike other platforms that monitor only the logistical aspects of aid distribution, CHATS breaks down all details of each beneficiary, including where the aid is distributed. Each beneficiary’s identity can be verified by name and disbursement location and are viewable to private donors to NGOs who are granted access to funded campaign data on the platform. We are compliant with NDPR (the Nigeria version of GDPR) and data privacy and security are very important to us, thus we ensure that beneficiary data is encrypted at all times both on-rest and in-transit.


CHATS smart contracts are gasless by design and upgradeable to accommodate future business use-cases and it is currently deployed on Polygon public blockchain, this is to reduce the infrastructure cost of CHATS platform. Also, donors can make donations in stablecoin for campaigns to non-custodial escrow wallets that are withdrawable if such donations are not used within some programable conditions.


Our NFC card is designed for populations without phones and internet, it works with the NGO Field Agent App and Vendor App on any affordable NFC-enabled (read and write) smartphone. Encrypted data of the campaign Beneficiaries on cloud syncs with the CHATS Vendors Mobile App for the transaction to be carried out offline if internet connection is not available on the vendor app phone.


Why users prefer CHATS


  • CHATS helps to mitigate Fraud

  • It is secure

  • It improves Transparency in aid distribution

  • It improves grassroots economy

  • It is efficient


CHATS has four (4) primary user segments


Donors can onboard their beneficiaries or aid self-enabled registration on the CHATS app. Donors can assess the feasibility of an ongoing programme, monitor the distribution of relief materials on the CHATS platform and are privy to details of their beneficiaries.


CHATS provides a cash payment platform for NGOs to execute humanitarian services rapidly and efficiently. We address user enrollment, cash delivery and service management through a transparent and open-source interface.


Vendors can be onboarded to the platform and approved by the NGO via the NGO Field App Agent or Web platform.


Can onboard themselves to the platform or be onboarded by the NGO Field Officer. 


“The greatest impact we can have on the world is to empower the next generation. our Solution will help get donor funds transparently to the vulnerable children, hence it will facilitate their growth through the needed access to education, healthcare, and other vital resources to improve their wellbeing." —Adedeji Owonibi
Share this story