The channels and means of philanthropic giving are forever evolving. Within Pakistan, the crowdfunded NGO Transparent Hands has tied up with United Bank Limited (UBL) through the OMNI Banking Portal to further facilitate donors in the act of giving.
UBL is one of the major commercial banks in Pakistan, operating in its current privatized form since 2002. In 2010, UBL initiated its branchless banking service, “OMNI”, a telco-agnostic service which operates on UBL’s internally-developed software platform. The bank, in addition to offering the regular suite of in-branch banking services, allows through its OMNI portal the solution of online and mobile bill payments, mobile wallet accounts, domestic remittances, airtime top ups and ATM Cards.
The OMNI portal was a means to an end when the government of Pakistan, along with national banks, teamed up to generate and distribute funds for those affected by the 2010 floods in the country. By 2013, the OMNI branchless banking business had grown to include more than 10,000 bank agents (OMNI Dukaans), and was processing over 4.5 million digital financial transactions each month. The program allowed for use of the bank’s vast ATM infrastructure and also to reach an entirely new type of customer – one who hadn’t yet tried its branchless banking services.
With locations in more than 650 cities and towns across Pakistan, UBL OMNI now provides anyone wanting to sponsor patients, enlisted under Transparent Hands umbrella, for operative procedures across rural and urban Pakistan – well beyond the regular branch networks of banks. With UBL Omni, anyone across Pakistan can crowdfund patients through their account. As crowdfunding works to reach a larger number of people through online portals and collect funds through small contributions, from as many parties as possible, UBL OMNI facilitates the cause of Transparent Hands by giving it wider reach within Pakistan.
Anyone with a mobile or internet connection can access Transparent Hands website at http://www.transparenthands.org/, where patients seeking funding are listed. Patient case histories and procedural details are given on each and every case. All patients seeking funding have been prescreened by the organization through a panel of doctors and hospitals. Patients are verified through detailed examinations and follow ups, and cases that pass certain criteria, are thereafter, listed on the Transparent Hands website, where donors can see the medical requirements, urgency and related costs. Donors within Pakistan now have the added ease to transfer funds to Transparent Hands using the UBL OMNI portal. Internationally or locally within Pakistan, donors can still also easily pay online through the website’s payment platform. Campaigns listed on the Transparent Hands website close after they meet their targeted amount.
At any given time, there are about 15 to 20 campaigns running on the website. Of the cases listed on the organization’s web portal, some are more critical than others and the urgency of financial help and funding can mean the difference between life and death.
In a country like Pakistan, where charity and philanthropy remain very high, especially during and prior to Ramadan, the OMNI portal also allows for the timely transfer of zakat. Transparent Hands reaches down to save lives through a quick and easy way – the click of a button. If you have the will to give, the OMNI portal and Transparent Hands give you a way to direct your charity and your humanitarianism towards a worthy cause.