Tanzania village life. Image source: Sunlight Payments

Tanzania village life. Image source: Sunlight Payments

Sunlight Payments, a US-based paytech start-up, says it has “successfully tested a new platform to enhance controls and accountability for philanthropic funding and grants”.

The test was carried out with Pathfinder International, a women’s reproductive health non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works in 19 countries. Sunlight says the NGO was selected as a pilot customer due to its “existing strong accounting systems”.

The two companies used the new platform to transfer funds from the NGO’s US office in Massachusetts to country offices in Tanzania and Uganda.

“Unlike traditional paper payment methods, the pilot electronically tracked the follow-on payments down the distribution chain to vendors and partners in local communities in each country,” Sunlight explains. “This approach allowed Pathfinder staff to have visibility into payments across all parties. Those participating in the pilot moved monies between the Sunlight platform and their bank accounts, in the currency of their choice.”

Pathfinder’s CFO, Linda DeNicola, says her team is “excited to see the enhanced controls and cost savings delivered by Sunlight’s platform”.

A team of payment, fraud detection and distributed systems specialists from KPMG, Deloitte and Amazon assisted with the platform development and testing.

Sunlight Payments’ CTO, Eric Merritt, believes the new solution “will revolutionise the way payments are distributed to provide essential services in the field”.

Sunlight is now ready to fully market its platform to philanthropic organisations worldwide.

The paytech firm is backed by an investment from Bill Gates. Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) is its financial services provider: BAML’s global transaction services division delivers the cross-currency payments products to Sunlight. The bank states it has been a strong supporter of Sunlight since its inception earlier this year.