Sempo Docs

Working with Sempo

Phases of working with Sempo

There are four key phases for working with Sempo:
  • A. Scoping and Contracting
  • B. Design, Training and Onboarding
  • C. Cash Distribution and Monitoring
  • D. Reporting and Preparing for Extension
In reality, phases may overlap and activities may occur at the same time as each other.

A. Scoping and Contracting

During this phase, it is important that Sempo and our partners:
  • Discuss the key objectives and characteristics of the cash transfer program
  • Discuss the financial processes, flow of funds, preferred currency and cash-out method
  • Finalise contracts
We also recommend that our Partners:
  • Write Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Clarify the roles and responsibilities of Field Partners
  • Establish communications with other key stakeholders, such as peer and government agencies
  • Establish community presence and community accountability and reporting mechanisms
  • Establish a monitoring and evaluation framework
For further guidance, we recommend reviewing Mercy Corps' Cash Transfer Implementation Guide.
Sempo cannot procure hardware for you or deliver training until contracts are finalised.

B. Project Design, Training and Onboarding

Checklist of key Project Design questions to discuss with Sempo

During the initial kick-off meeting with Sempo for project design, we will discuss the following questions.
Question to discuss
What is the currency that we will be distributing to beneficiaries?
Into what currency will we allow vendors to "cash-out"?
Cash Out Process
How would you prefer that we "cash out" vendors? (e.g. transferring to their bank accounts)
Frequency of "cashing out" of vendors? (e.g. weekly, bi-weekly)
Will we enable vendors to cash each other out? If so, how many vendors will be enabled to do this?
Will we allow beneficiaries to "cash out"?
How will you be identifying and selecting participants?
What will be the total number of vendors, per location?
How much will be disbursed to beneficiaries? How often? (e.g. $100 USD per month)
What vendor incentive will we offer? When? How? (e.g. $5 USD at start of project, transferred to bank accounts)
When are you going to be starting disbursements to beneficiaries, in each location?
What is the end date of disbursements, in each location?
How will beneficiaries receive disbursements? (e.g. by card, by card AND app)
How many cards would you like to order for beneficiaries? (We recommend ordering an additional 10% for safe-keeping).
If cards, do you want these cards to be branded cards, or unbranded cards with QR code stickers?
How many NFC-enabled smartphones would you like to order for vendors? (We recommend ordering an additional 5% for safe-keeping).
When do you need hardware to be delivered by? (We recommend affording a 4-6 week turnaround period to adjust for international shipping and quality assurance measures)
Internet connection
Will vendors be able to connect their mobile phones to the internet at least once every 1-2 days?
Will you be needing to procure SIMs to provide internet connection to vendors?
Processes and Tools
What processes and tools do you plan to use for pre-program interviewing of participants (e.g. KoboToolbox, Commcare)?
Sempo can support four ways to register participants. What way do you plan to use for registering participants? (e.g. KoboToolbox, CSV)?
Identity verification for KYC
Who will be conducting KYC on the vendors? (e.g. Sempo or another financial services institution)
Are participants likely to have access to the required identity documentation that Sempo needs for Know Your Customer (KYC) checks?
Will your Field Partners or on-the-ground staff have sufficient time and resourcing (during registration of program participants) to collect identity documentation from participants to enable Sempo to complete KYC?
Digital literacy
How familiar are you and your team with using Android smartphones? (This helps us plan for tailoring training.)
How familiar are your Field Partners with using Android smartphones? (This helps us plan for tailoring training.)
How familiar are vendors with using smartphones or feature phones?
Field Partners
Will you be engaging Field Partners in any locations? When?
What are the roles and responsibilities of these Field Partners vs your team vs Sempo?
Participant service
Who will be supporting your program participants in the Field throughout the program?
What ongoing support will be provided? (e.g. customer support hotline, town halls)
M&E Frameworks
What metrics and reports do you anticipate you will want and need from the Sempo Analytics Dashboard? (Sempo will make sure that we train you in using the analytics dashboard and exporting the data you need to help you with your reports.)
What on-the-ground monitoring will you be doing?
Ways of Working
Sempo's team is based in Melbourne, Australia. When should we have regular meetings with you? (We suggest 2 x 30 min or 1 x 60 min meeting)
What is the preferred meeting tool for us to use? (e.g. Skype, Zoom)
What is the preferred way for us to store data that we share with each other in compliance with privacy laws? (We suggest GDrive)
In reality, a lot of these features may change during the course of our engagement. But we find it helpful to discuss this list of characteristics at the start of the project and on an ongoing basis, to manage expectations.

Training Agenda

Sempo will then organise trainings with you and your Field Partners to ensure you are comfortable with:
Sempo can also deliver training for your financial accounting partners, if required.


You and your Field Partners will then register and train program participants. After collection of identity documentation (typically during registration). Sempo will then complete "Know Your Customer" (KYC) checks of your program participants, in compliance with relevant global standards and laws. Sempo requires at least 5 business days to complete KYC checks.
For vendors who do not pass Level 2 verification, they will still be able to receive payments and cash out from other vendors, but they will not be able to receive bank transfers.

C. Distribution and Monitoring

After your program participants are registered, we are ready to begin disbursing funds to beneficiaries and withdrawing/reimbursing vendors!
In this stage, we will work together to:
Where possible, we recommend planning for a week-long "mini-pilot" or week where a small number of beneficiaries have a shopping week at certain vendors. This can allow for testing and adaptation of our solution as required to your context.

D. Reporting and Preparing for Extension

We can work with you to analyse and report on participant and transfer data collected via our Platform.
Sempo can:
  • Deliver an end-point survey for feedback from partners
  • Deliver a retrospective workshop to reflect on feedback
  • Develop a learnings report
  • Assist with donor reports and fundraising strategies for scale-ups.
Please note: we also encourage our partners to conduct on-the-ground monitoring to ensure that the program has not resulted in adverse effects, such as beneficiaries being taken advantage of by vendors, or domestic violence due to the distribution. Please conduct us at [email protected] to discuss ways we can help you.