Our new report - Going greenfield with pay-as-you-go

Our new report: Going greenfield with pay-as-you-go

December 20, 2017 | Mobile for Development Utilities | Middle East and North Africa | South Asia | Sub-Saharan Africa | Akanksha Sharma

By overcoming affordability, access, quality and payment challenges, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) services have supported clean energy solutions since the early part of this decade. By June 2017, PAYG solar sales exceeded 1.6 million globally, with the majority of sales being in East Africa. The success of PAYG solar in East Africa has driven entrepreneurs to replicate the model in other geographical markets and sectors. Earlier this year, we discussed this and role of mobile connectivity, mobile money and IoT in enabling PAYG services in our report, ‘Lessons from the use of mobile in utility pay-as-you-go models’.

We now take a deeper dive into this subject through our new report, ‘Going greenfield with utility pay-as-you-go models’, and investigate the opportunities and challenges in replicating PAYG in what we call ‘greenfield’ markets – which include the new geographies for PAYG solar solutions beyond East Africa as well as new sectors for PAYG solutions other than solar, such as water, sanitation, cooking and solar irrigation.

Over the years, our Innovation Fund has increasingly broadened its focus in trialling and scaling mobile enabled utility models in PAYG for greenfield markets. While the functionalities being used in replicating PAYG solar are still the same – mobile payments, machine to machine and mobile services, we learnt that replication is often not as easy. There is no single business model that would work across water, sanitation, cooking or other sectors as they all operate differently. The same holds true for introducing PAYG solar models in geographies outside East Africa.

We learnt that forging the right partnerships, strengthening agent networks and simplifying user interface can be key to launching PAYG services in nascent mobile money markets. Mobile operators are increasingly proving to be strong partners to the PAYG providers and evidence through PAYG solar trials show how PAYG services can drive adoption of mobile money in new mobile money markets.

Read our new report to know more about the new models at an early stage of commercialisation including energy access beyond electricity such as cooking, solar-powered irrigation and other sectors such as water and sanitation, and about our learnings in trialling PAYG in greenfield markets through our grants.

Read the report

This initiative is currently funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and supported by the GSMA and its members.

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