M-KOPA Solar, Mastercard Join Hands for Pay-As-You-Go Solar Program 

M-KOPA will pilot Mastercard’s Quick Response (QR) payment technology in Uganda to extend the reach of its pioneering pay-as-you-go solar program.

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Mastercard, an American multinational financial services corporation, has entered into partnership with Kenyan pay-as-you-go solar provider M-KOPA to expand its solar energy provisioning to homes and businesses in Africa.

At the Mobile World Congress both the companies has announced their partnership that will provide Africans living without electricity a simple way to light up their homes and businesses.

Further, M-KOPA will pilot Mastercard’s Quick Response (QR) payment technology in Uganda to extend the reach of its pioneering pay-as-you-go solar program.

Masterpass QR, an open and interoperable technology will create a new payment channel for M-KOPA’s pay-as-you-go customers outside for Kenya. The network of mobile network operators and banks using Masterpass QR will help M-KOPA to scale and grow across Africa without requiring additional technology investments. Masterpass QR is currently available in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Commenting on the partnership, Mastercard, Commerce for Every Device, Senior Vice President, Kiki Del Valle said, “By using our digital payment capabilities, we want to make it easy for people to access reliable and regular sources of energy and become more economically resilient – earn a livelihood by working from home, keep shops and businesses open for longer and study after dark.”

Solar is an independent way for people to power homes and businesses but requires a large, one-time investment. With pay-as-you-go financing, M-KOPA customers purchase a solar home system on credit and make small daily payments using mobile money for less than what they previously spent on hazardous, kerosene lamps. Customers will now be able to make daily payments or top up the solar accounts easily by either scanning a Quick Response (QR) code from their smartphone or by entering the merchant ID associated with the QR code into their feature phone.

After making successive payments towards their solar system for roughly a year, customers build creditworthiness and can purchase other products, such solar-powered televisions, energy-efficient cook stoves and smartphones on a similar payment scheme.

“We’ve proven that the pay-as-you-go solar model works in East Africa, but the off-grid market in Africa is tremendous. Our partnership with Mastercard provides the roadway for more solar services and infrastructure across the continent,” said Nick Hughes, co-founder and chief product officer, M-KOPA Solar. “QR technology holds great opportunity to extend the range of payment channels for customers and represents a step-change in our mutual goal to light up homes and businesses in Africa.”

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Manu Tayal

Manu Tayal

Manu is an Associate Editor at Saur Energy International where she writes and edits clean & green energy news, featured articles and interview industry veterans with a special focus on solar, wind and financial segments.

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