Project seal is an application designed to create peer-to-peer agreements more transparent and secure with the ability to send and receive money securely between parties.
We wanted to create a product to intervene in the migration process, one which was founded in reality, and based on foundation of first-hand design research.
Migration is a process of movement and change, of new adventures, discoveries and challenges. It is a sobering reflection of today's world that human migration is now synonymous with upheaval, disruption, and human suffering.
The initial design research stage of the project was in Myanmar and the porous Myanmar- Thailand border area. Myanmar is a country undergoing huge waves of migration; in and out, north to south, forced and unforced - driven by combination of factors - economic, religious, ethnic and climate change.
We spent time with migrants of all kinds and in many environments. In rubber plantations, in UN supported camps, during their journey, at departure and arrival. Migrants face a multitude of challenges, but we found underpinning them all was the act of making agreements. Agreements are necessary to travel, work, send money, to live. The need to forge agreements with strangers was a common theme, and a common problem.
We realised that there is no way to do this, no way to ensure a verbal agreement would be honoured, or that what both parties to an agreement needed had survived a language barrier. This insight, combined with the observation that smartphones - and mobile broadband - is as available in a teak house in a Myanmar village as it is in central Bangkok lead us to develop Seal - a mobile agreement service.
Seal allows two people to create agreements with the speed of a verbal agreement and the security of a written one. Identifying parties, agreeing terms, identifying when terms have been met, and holding payment in the cloud. Once both parties have met their terms, the held payment is released - converting an agreement which would once have been verbal and fragile, into something much stronger, more robust, and safer for all.