Since 2013, the Dutch service platform 'UWassistent' has been supporting elderly people with long-term independent living at home. UWassistent is nationwide and online available for elderly people with a request for help, but unique is that they are also locally and personally available for customers to provide tailored solutions. In this way, UWassistent ensures that elderly people can always discuss their own unique needs through a personal conversation.
When providing support with independently living at home, UWassistent mainly provides practical assistance such as household help and personal guidance, but also includes smaller tasks inside and around the house. Think about mowing the lawn and pruning shrubs in the garden, but also assembling a cupboard or replacing light bulbs in the house. Mainly the smaller jobs for which you cannot hire a large company.
UWassistent has a unique franchise formula in which local contact persons are arranging support for elderly people that need help. These contact persons are independent entrepreneurs who are aware of the market, the social map, the exact needs of the elderly and how everything is organised. They know exactly how to respond to local differences and through local networks they work closely with all the parties that are involved. Of course, they also know how they can find elders in their own homes, healthcare apartments and service flats that really need help.
''All care providers are screened for legal obligations, but besides a screening, we look for service providers that really match with these clients. We hold personal meetings with clients and service providers to find out the qualities of the service providers and the wishes of the client. This way, we know which client is a good match for which service provider and whether there is an actual match with the request for help. Personal assistance requires different qualities than household help and small jobs in and around the house. This working method ensures that you can optimally match these qualities, which is really the strength of UWassistent", says Joost Damen, co-owner of UWassistent.
P2P payments and familiar payment methods
Payments are very important. You want them to be safe and reliable. Especially given our vulnerable target group of elderly people, you want a completely safe system for this. When finding a suitable payment service provider, there were therefore a number of important issues that UWassistent took into account.
We were looking for an external party that is specialised in this and offered payments between private individuals with UWassistent as a Third Party. This third party is not available everywhere, so that was very difficult to find in our search, Joost explains.
''UWassistent also had other requirements because we mainly work with the elderly. Elderly people have to pay in many different ways, not just with iDEAL or credit card. We needed many different possibilities for payments, including manual transfers and direct debits.
Fortunately, Online Payment Platform was one of the few parties able to meet all our requirements.''
Hassle free payments result in fast growth
The cooperation with Online Payment Platform has already brought UWassistent many positive results. ''Better insights into money flows and payment automation enabled us to grow faster and realise more volumes. Offering P2P payments in combination with many different payment methods provides the perfect solution for our target group'' Joost stated.
In addition, the switch to an external payment provider saved UWassistent a lot of work and time. ''Perhaps even more importantly, it has given our platform trust because we no longer have to look after the payments because they are arranged externally.''
Dashboard with payment-insights
Online Payment Platform always tries to think along with its partners. Joost tells us that this is also experienced as very pleasant: ''We are very satisfied with them. They think along with customised solutions and how we can arrange the best payment solutions for our target group. Communication is also very important; Online Payment Platform helps with informing our clients when something is not working, and that is especially nice for our clients. We also see that they are also trying to develop themselves by showing us better insights into the payments and money flows.''
Particularly in the last year, Online Payment Platform has really put a lot of effort into the further development of a Dashboard for payment insights. 'This gives us better insights on how customers pay, which payments are completed or have not been completed, which payments are still on hold, and the amount that still needs to be deposited at UWassistent. This is an extremely valuable tool for UWassistent, but also an indispensable feature for marketplaces', says Joost.
Covid-19 shows strength of care providers
For the time being, the platform continues to grow. The Corona crisis has left a significant impact there. Personal services were held back because it was discouraged to visit people. ''Eventually you see that vulnerable people can't do without help. Slowly but surely, we were able to set this up in accordance with the RIVM guidelines and service providers were able to get back to work.''
''The great thing was that our service providers discussed with clients how they could give shape to this and still continue to provide help in a safe way. That is the beauty of UWassistent, that it is not imposed from above, but that customers and service providers organise this themselves. That they discuss everything themselves so that the work can continue in a pleasant way. That really is a strength that makes us very strong, especially in these times.''