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Tech insights: Programmable Banking Community: Make Rewarding Employees Easy and Fun
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Programmable Banking Community: Make Rewarding Employees Easy and Fun

17 August 2021, by Nick Benson

OfferZen’s recent Programmable Banking Community hackathon featuring teams from the Programmable Banking Community turned up some exciting projects built using programmable banking tech. After the teams submitted their ideas, five got together with OfferZen and Investec and shared their solutions.

Ushik Mewalal and Yurisha Goorun, from team Bits & Bytes, walked us through their solution to help businesses reward employees for performance and demonstrates the power of programmable banking with automated transactions.

The solution is an online application that would allow teams to add members and elect an employee for ”Employee of the Month” rewards. The system will then auto-pay the winner at the end of each term.

This app helps teams have a fun way to reward valuable employees.

While the app’s simplicity ensures less administrative time would be required for an automated reward system.

Transcript of the demo

The problem

Ushik Mewalal (21:20)

This is Project In-cent-ive. The team members are Yurisha Goorun and Ushik, that’s me. Basically, we wanted to create an app to electively reward recognition in a team.

The solution

The app is basically to reward an employee of the month. It’s a fun way to demonstrate the power of programmable banking with automated transactions. And basically, we wanted to demonstrate two key areas such as automation, and not just debit-card automation or monthly debit automation. But basically, you can control where your debits go, so that flexibility is very important. And, also, the scalability of your transactions. So, if you want to spend or if your transactions want to be scaled by 80%, 100%, or 20%, that’s also the power that this programmable banking brings. So, the project was developed using React, Node.js and MongoDB.

So basically, companies are looking for a way to recognise how to reward employees, and to be able to selectively select them. The solution is to create an app to allow teams to add members, and to select an employee of the month. The autopay is pretty important to the solution. On the 25th of every month, the user with the highest votes will be rewarded the employee of the month and automatically paid. So, one of the benefits is that it’s a fun way to reward valuable employees. And it’s a simple way to demonstrate key capabilities of programmable banking.

How they did it

Some of the features of the project, the basic features: you sign up and log in; then we have user voting, so each person will be able to vote once; winner history, so you can go into your card and get information on how much money was paid to each employee. Then payment automation. Currently, there’s no full API developed to automate payments on a monthly basis. So, we used a simulator. And email notification. One of the key ideas was to push the boundaries of programmable banking and see what kinds of use cases we can get out of it. How it works basically is the React.JS library is used to develop the user interface. This connects to the Node.js server, which exposes the Investec open-API to provide functionality such as the user log-in, voting capability, history of employee of the month, remuneration based on employee with the highest votes and utilisation of the Investec open-API to extract history. From there, once a transaction is simulated in this app, an email notification is sent to the winner to notify them that they’ve actually won.

So, just a high-level overview of some features from the app. Basically, each user will be able to create their account. We used superheroes for this demo because we have superheroes in the workplace. Each user will be able to log in. Each user will be able to see the board of who’s winning the employee of the month. This is just a demonstration of the simulation of the payments. And right here at the bottom right, you can see the code for the email to be sent. And there’s the email. So, this month Wonderwoman had won. And of course, you can also see the history of who’s won for the past 180 days currently available through the Investec app. So now, I’m just going to go through the actual demo of the app. I’m just going to go log in.

Ushik (25:55)

As I mentioned, each member’s available on the board, and each user will only be able to allow to vote once, but we left it open at the moment for demonstration purposes. So, if I want to vote for Gandalf, and you can see he becomes the employee of the month, at the first of July. So, we’ve still got some time in the morning for some other people to catch up. You can add more members to this team, basically. And this is the history of the employee of the month. As I mentioned earlier, scalability of your payment transactions is pretty important. So how we use this is that each member, each winner is paid the percentage of votes that they got for the month; for example, if there were 10 votes, and if Captain America won by nine votes, and your maximum amount is R1 000, they would get R900. And I think that’s the main things from this application. And when a transaction is simulated, basically, they will get an email stating that they have won

Ushik (27:42)

Some of the challenges encountered. So, we needed to simulate the transaction; the API documentation, I think, we found a few gaps where we can improve; and locking the accounts. Next step. So, updating user profile configurations; banking-detail configurations (so if someone changes banks, or banking details need to be updated). Another cool feature we wanted to add was the Investec share allocation of an employee of the month, and hosting the solution on cloud infrastructure. That’s it. Any questions?

Questions from the community

Nick Benson (28:37)

I got to say, that UI was really cool.

Michael Louis (28:40)

I was just going to say the two things from my side, which I think would be quite cool, is just creating a Slack app around it. I think so many companies use Slack apps; they probably have a couple million users. I think it would just be an easy friction point to get rid of. And instead of collecting banking details of employees, actually I know it’s something Investec is working on, is actually to send a virtual card to the employee of the month instead of collecting their bank details.

Aretha Cooper (29:12)

And then use Anri’s tool to tell you when your virtual card is going to expire.

Ushik (29:16)

Yeah. Integration with them.

Nick (29:19)

Yeah, I’m liking the collaboration already. It’s very cool.


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If you have questions or just want to say hi to the Programmable Banking Community core team, you can pop us a mail and we will get back to you.

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