GovChat, a South African civic technology platform that enables governments to get feedback from citizens on service delivery, has introduced a virtual wallet of its platform. According to GovChat, the virtual wallet will enable citizens to donate money to their chosen causes with ease.

What is also interesting and a likely added benefit is that donations using GovChat's new virtual wallet will attract no transaction fees or costs.

"What our team has noticed over the last 6 months is a number of scammers seeking cash and funding in and around disaster areas. Such actions have a devastating impact on the โ€˜gifting-economyโ€™ thatโ€™s being driven by the many superb NGOโ€™s and Community Organisations that band together to get things done. Removing barriers that prevent valuable, lifesaving Rand donations from reaching communities that are devastated by a disaster is well worth the effort. Our aim is to bring communities and their government closer together - We hope to achieve that by continuing to build technology anchored in social good," said Eldrid
, founder and CEO of GovChat.

GovChat currently available across 3 platforms, namely: WhatsApp, a website, and USSD.

Helping citizens across Afrika

GovChat's virtual wallett was launched just afer the 2019 World Economic Forum
(WEF) gathering which took place in Davos. At the gathering, it was stated that the top global risk factors (extreme weather events, natural disasters, failure of climate change mitigation, and adaption and water crises) by impact pose catastrophic risks to humanity.

These risks have recently been felt in South Africa with the scar of a fire that has been raging along the Garden Route, Knysna, Khayelitsha and Signal Hill fires. In 2017, over 86 000 hectares had burnt in the Outenique/ De Vlugt area, indicating a 4x increase compared to the fires in the previous year. As such, it is hoped that by allowing citizens to make donations at 0% cost/fees to causes such as these will help address some of these problems more speedily.

The feature will not only be available to GovChat users in South Africa but in other countries such as Ghana where GovChat launched with the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan. GovChat users in any Afrikan country will be able to give money to their chosen cause, relief organisation or national disaster in 3 easy WhatsApp prompts.

"As a data-driven business, at every level, GovChat is about understanding how citizens are interacting with the platform across all channels, including WhatsApp. What weโ€™re coming to grips with are the massive opportunities that many of our features can provide for our partners, NGO, CBOs etc. Weโ€™ve been listening to activists and community leaders that are running these life-changing organisations, and committed ourselves through our partnership team to make the giving process more seamless," said Goitse Konopi, Chief Data
Officer at GovChat.

Cover image credit: Eldrid Jordaan, Founder and CEO at GovChat.

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