Mobile payment doubles Uganda solar customer base

A mobile phone-based business model has doubled on-site solar power company Fenix International’s customer base in Uganda in a single year, the company has announced.

The US-based firm says it has reached 100,000 customers in the country, up from the 50,000 it logged 12 months ago, adding that its total solar leases in Uganda amount to over $20 million. 

The company's pay-to-own payment plan, called ReadyPay Power, sees customers paying $0.15 per day over 36 months. The payment plan has been implemented in partnership with African telecoms firm MTN, allowing users to make payments on their mobile phones. Access to the solar system’s battery (pictured) is unlocked once the customer makes a payment through the MTN Mobile Money system.

Fenix International says it has seen ‘exceptional demand’ for its 10 W and 17 W photovoltaic (PV) systems with 22 Wh or 40 Wh batteries since inception of the payment system in 2014.

K Y Amoaka, president of the African Center for Economic Transformation, said the firm had 'used one of the most common tools in Africa today – the mobile phone – to overcome one of the biggest constraints to renewable energy – up-front cost'. 


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