Unify, are a start-up working in the homeless sector. Their app is currently under development by the team at Closer on a pro-bono basis, which when complete, will connect donors directly with the homeless community. This means that, in this ever-increasing cashless society, kind donors who have the heart to give to a person who finds themselves on the street can still do so through Unify. People in emergency refuge situations or sub-standard housing through no fault of their own can also receive donations through this technology. Global Innovation Magazine spoke to Matt Bamber from Unify.
Tell us about the idea/business
Unify is a mobile application which will connect donors directly with the homeless community. To do this we distribute 3 things to the homeless individual:
1) A secure, digital banking profile for the individual to receive and safely store donations,
2) and RFID wristband to receive contactless tap donations on the street,
3) a restricted Unify pre-payment card to spend donations on essential goods and services.
Donors simply download, add funds and donate by either tapping the app on the wristband on the street, or through our in-app feature ‘Unify Sofa-Giving’ and receive credits for each donation to be exchanged for exclusive vouchers and discounts with our internal marketplace partners.
Unlike traditional methods of giving, Unify uses lean principles to avoid thick operational costs, ensuring that the most money as possible reaches the end user. Through Unify over 92p from every £1 donated goes directly to the profile of the individual with the remainder spend on unavoidable banking fees and direct running costs for Unify.
We pride ourselves on transparency because we believe that trust is a huge aspect to consider when donating funds.
How are things progressing
Things are going great! At present, we have a brilliant team in Lisbon building the app on a pro-bono basis, who have also offered their data analysis services when we go live. Our banking partner has also offered their services for the pilot. We have a large, well-established charity in Portugal ready to distribute Unify to the people they support (Comunidade Vida e Paz), and a reputable charity in Stoke-on-Trent (The Macari Foundation) to do the same in the UK for our pilot in both countries.
Once we have scaled nationally in both the UK and Portugal, we aim to expand to Europe and the USA as soon as possible with focus on the hardest hit areas with the largest homeless community.
What books movies or podcasts would you recommend to the readers
This is hard because I love reading. A very interesting/ slightly scary book I’ve read recently is ’21 Lessons for the 21st Century’, a very nice insight into our potential future written by the great intellect, Yuval Noah.
An awesome podcast I like to listen to is Kwik Brain by Jim Kwik. 30 minute lessons on different ways to expand brain power.