The Instant Payment Notification (IPN) Hub

Globally, 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity. Current trends suggest Africa will not achieve universal access to electricity until 2080. In order to address this need, a new generation of entrepreneurial businesses have taken on the challenge of providing critical utility services (such as electricity, water and sanitation) to off-grid populations, by using a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model. These businesses need to accept ongoing incremental payments from their customers, and mobile money provides them with a solution to do so.

However, integrating with mobile operators to receive payments is not easy for these service providers. In addition to a significant investment of time and resources, the process must be repeated for each individual mobile operator. With 71 active and planned PAYG deployments and 151 mobile money providers (and counting), there is a staggering number of integrations to be performed in Africa alone. This presents a major bottleneck for the entire PAYG industry to flourish.

The Instant Payment Notification (IPN) Hub, developed by the GSMA, provides a single point of integration between mobile money providers and the growing PAYG sector. The hub not only enables small PAYG utility service providers to integrate easily with mobile operators, but also provides them with instant notifications of payments made – which is a critical requirement for providers to serve their customers in real time, for example, by turning on a light.

The hub is already live in Rwanda (connecting four entities – MTN Rwanda, Airtel-Tigo Rwanda, BBoxx and Off Grid Electric) and is now being scaled across Africa. Beyond PAYG solar, the hub can also be useful for service providers in water, sanitation, school fees and other sectors.

If you are interested in connecting to the IPN Hub, please contact us at mobilemoney@gsma.com.