Technology

UNAWA offers digital solutions to help businesses reopen

Philippine regtech startup UNAWA has launched SafePass and SafeForm.

Regtech startup UNAWA has unveiled two digital solutions that will enable businesses to reopen and operate safely. These will not only ensure the safety of their physical locations, but also their digital data.

SafePass is an all-digital, contact-free authorizing, scheduling, and contact tracing platform. This will help companies manage their offices, stores, and other physical locations once they reopen. Meanwhile, SafeForm enables business owners to create digital forms or convert their printed or analog forms to digital platforms.

Reopening businesses safely

SafePass allows businesses to operate in the “next normal”. This is the transition phase as the government allows companies to reopen. SafePass will let them easily manage their physical locations to comply with new government requirements for operating safely. It has four components: space planning, reservations, health questionnaire, and incident management.

“We’re doing all of this because in the next normal, we expect the virus to be among us. We expect that there will be an incident in any and all of our facilities. And it’s really important that when that incident happens, we are ready for it. Meaning we know precisely who’s in the facility during the time that the confirmed patient was there. Our reaction time needs to be super fast. Meaning hours. Not days. Not weeks,” said UNAWA Chief Strategy Officer Winston Damarillo at the press briefing.

Damarillo is also the Executive Chairman of Amihan Global Strategies and CEO of Talino Venture Labs, which developed SafePass.

“There are two things that resonate every time we talk about SafePass: courage and confidence,” Damarillo said.

“Gusto nating bigyan ng lakas ng loob ang ating mga negosyo para magbukas, at gusto nating bigyan ng tiwala ang ating mga consumers at pumunta at [tangkilikin ang] ating mga businesses (We want to give our entrepreneurs the courage to reopen, and we want to give our consumers the confidence to go and patronize these businesses).”

Securing digital data

Meanwhile, SafeForm helps Filipino companies take the crucial next steps to digitally transform quickly and securely. It enables business owners to create digital forms or convert their printed or analog forms to digital platforms. It also allows for securing company data and contact-free transactions and processes within their operations.

UNAWA designed SafeForm, which is its first product, with the SME in mind.

“The three services that SafeForm can offer to you is that it can digitize, protect, and allow you to transact [in] your business. We like to think of ourselves in UNAWA as digital enablers, and [SafeForm] is definitely one way for you to not only grow but scale your business,” said UNAWA CEO Monalisa Dimalanta.

“As we go more digital, as more transactions get closed online, we will work to be ready for more transactions to be done online — from online sales forms to more complex contracts. These solutions are already present in other jurisdictions, and I am confident that it will be only a matter of time that we offer it ourselves to Filipinos and adapt to our own commercial and legal environment,” she added.

Preparing for the new normal

At the start of the product launch, Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, president of social enterprise fashion Rags2Riches, discussed the challenges that businesses face. Fernandez-Ruiz is also the Strategic CFO of Talino Venture Labs and UNAWA.

According to her, one of the challenges is “adjusting to the new normal… which nobody really fully understands, but [which we need to] prepare for.”

“In UNAWA, we believe in the power of enterprises. And this is why we are here today… to launch SafePass and SafeForm, two solutions that are designed to enable businesses to stay safe, relevant, and keep being agents of positive change in our country,” she said.

Government sector

“SafePass is a very good effort because the private sector companies will definitely need something to ensure the safety of their people. We need the economy to run again, so huwag nating i-sacrifice ‘yung safety ng mga tao (let us not sacrifice the safety of our people). For SafeForm, I want to see how it pans out for private sector and even for the government,” said Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Caintic, however, said this was not an official endorsement of the solutions.

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña also joined the product launch.

“I’m happy that there are companies like UNAWA that are now playing an important part in this move towards digitalization… We in the DOST are not endorsing any kind of business, but we are endorsing the need for the system that has been brought up particularly by the crisis that we have faced and with the call for competitiveness,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic will not go away anytime soon. But life continues, and businesses must reopen. So companies need the right digital solutions to operate safely and restore the confidence of consumers.

Welcome to the new normal.