LightningAid

Short description

LightningAid is a safe, super fast digital solution for any organisation to get financial support to those who need it

Description

Due to Covid-19, millions of vulnerable individuals are facing tremendous financial stress or having to self-isolate at home. A number of initiatives have been started to support the situation by charities, community support groups and industry associations. Huge sums of financial aid have been promised by governments and independent organisations – yet these lack a fast, secure and accountable distribution mechanism.

LightningAid offers a safe and super fast digital solution for any organisation to provide financial support to those in need. Charities, government bodies, associations and support groups can issue their beneficiaries or volunteers with a fully regulated payment account which they can use to receive funds instantly. These come with virtual or physical debit cards attached as an easy way to spend, as well as an app and web portal for full transparency and control.

Unlike existing solutions which rely on prepaid cards, bank transfers, cash or voucher distribution, LightningAid is digital, much faster to deploy, safer and more transparent. Built on modern, scalable technical infrastructure with bank grade security powered by Railsbank, LightningAid enables financial support to be instantly credited into payment accounts and virtual cards to be issued at a single click. This means beneficiaries can get the money they need immediately instead of waiting for weeks or months. Beneficiaries are not required to have existing bank accounts – hence unbanked individuals, and those currently in the cash economy can be financially included by LightningAid. Avoiding physical cash and voucher distribution also minimises risk of virus transmission. Finally, all spend is fully traceable and accountable through the app and portal, with additional accountancy integration and reporting features.

In the UK alone there are over 20M elderly, vulnerable or low income individuals in need of support. The Covid-19 government fund exceeds £30bn with >£9bn for self-employed workers. Beyond the UK, there is a global market for fast, cost-effective and secure aid distribution – even before the pandemic, the market for global development aid has exceeded $140bn/year, and this has increased sharply with the economic impact of Covid-19 across all nations. LightningAid will not only enable financial support to reach the vulnerable much more quickly, but also aims to lower the overheads and costs involved in doing so.

Target country

United Kingdom

Project type

  • Alleviation
  • Impact Support
  • Transparency
  • Work & Productivity

Support needed

  • Design
  • Exposure
  • Operations
  • Raising capital
  • Talent
  • Website design

What we need help with

LightningAid was developed in just eight days by a small team after the idea was first born at the end of March. Following a successful pilot in the London borough of Southwark, it is already being used to help impacted workers in the music industry by distributing £500K raised by the Association of Independent Music, and continues supporting vulnerable residents in Southwark. We now need support in terms of funding and talent in order to scale the LightningAid product to serve a much larger user base and expand our impact within and outside of the UK.

Best way to get in touch

Email to ren@lightningaid.org (or website contact form)

Project status

  • Launched