Vicente, one of the team members lives in Manila, Philippines. He observed that most of the people living in the city spend considerable amount of time queuing at the ATM machine. He also tried to do the same but ended up frustrated due to Long queues ATM machine running out of cash by the time it was his turn Or worse ATM being out of service. Overall in Manila and in number of developing countries there are not enough ATMs and banks. Often they are too far apart or too far from persons locations. In some rural areas people have to go to other towns/cities to withdraw money from their own account. Due to lack of e-payment adoption due to mindset, infrastructure and cost people heavily rely on cash payments hence the need to address this issue.
What it does
On successful registration and validation, users will be able to use the app. It enables the buyer (person in need of cash) to withdraw cash without having to queue at the ATM or drive miles to go to a bank to withdraw small amount of cash from their own account. It enables the buyer to search its nearby area for seller (person with the cash). It enables the seller to generate revenue on delivering cash.
How we built it
It is a native Android app built with java. For the backend we deployed it on Firebase RTDB. For authentication we used Firebase Authentication. We also used the Google maps android sdk.
Challenges we ran into
All of us are working in 4 different time zones with very minimum overlap. Balancing workload with other commitments.
Touchpoint on a regular basis to stay aligned to our committed deliverables. Work as a team to put together necessary requirements for the submission. From constructing the idea to building an entire app in less than a week. Learn from one another on how we can best deliver the MVP of this project.
There is a need to develop products for global market. Teamwork is definitely the key part when developing a product. We all have different values and experiences but we can still support one and another. Working in different time zone with tight deadlines before the submission deadline is surely difficult and challenging but a committed team can make it doable!
What's next for Mobile ATM
- Building for iOS, release further iterations.
- Introduce features such as Know Your Customer to make sure users are properly vetted and only verified users are allowed to use the app. Including adding and validating their bank account details.
- Money scanner feature to ensure money given to buyers by sellers are not fake.
- A feature to automatically put a hold for the amount of money requested by buyer from his wallet to provide added security to seller in case buyer took and run away seller’s cash. If this happens and proven true by our support team the requested amount that was put on hold from buyer’s wallet will automatically be transferred to seller’s wallet.
- Introduce features such as reviews, restricting operational hours, transaction limits, and etc.
- Have a support team to attend to and validate any fraud transactions reported by users of the app.
- Work on product awareness, acquisition, adoption and retention.
- Partner with local banks to help them save infrastructure cost and enable them have virtual ATM agents who can be the Sellers of bank's cash. This is where we can leverage the FFDC Payments APIs.
- Implement analytical tools for example, Optimizely, Google analytics, Hotjar etc.
- Create e-payment app and service allowing small business to offer e-payment.
Once product has been trialled, security and processes have been in place and strengthened we would work towards launching a global app.