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BuyPower Namibia

BuyPower Namibia

pay for electricity using mobile airtime

The BuyPower Namibia service allows users to purchase pre-paid electricity using their mobile airtime. This is the first service of its type in Africa and represents a disruptive but effective and convenient solution to the purchase of prepaid electricity. It also enables the sale of prepaid electricity in remote and regional areas for the unbanked where other forms of micro-billing are uneconomical or impossible.

To use the service, users simply send an SMS containing their meter number and the pre-paid electricity token is returned by SMS. No pre-registration or bank account is required. Payment for the electricity is automatically deducted from prepaid credit or added to their postpaid account. The service is available on both TN Mobile (formally LEO) and MTC mobile networks in Namibia.

For more information on the service visit http://www.buypowernamibia.com.

about BuyPower

The mHITs BuyPower platform is a mobile vending solution enabling the purchase of prepaid electricity via mobile phone with payment made directly using carrier airtime. Payment is made by debiting the users prepaid mobile phone credit, or for post-paid users is billed to their mobile phone account.

This simple but effective concept has a proven business model that has a rapid ROI and benefits all stakeholders. It also provides tremendous benefits and convenience to end users in a given market.

In particular, the platform is ideal for servicing regional and remote areas where micro-billing is uneconomical or impossible. In some cases, BuyPower enables electricity to be rolled out in regions where previously it could not due to the inability to collect payment such as remote islands or isolated communities. mHITs was the first and still remains the only provider in the world to operate this model.

In Papua New Guinea, where the BuyPower platform was deployed for the mobile network operator Digicel under the name Easipawa Easipay, the service was reportedly responsible for processing over 60% of prepaid electricity purchases in the country. See http://www.digicelpng.com/en/services/valued-added-services/easipawa-easipay.

about prepaid electricity

In many emerging markets, it is common for electricity to be provided and metered as a pre-paid service. The home or building is fitted with a pre-paid meter with a unique meter number and also a keypad and a display.

Traditionally, users purchase a pre-paid electricity voucher over-the-counter and receive a printed receipt from their local electricity shop or agent. The receipt contains an encrypted 20-digit token that can only be used for the nominated meter. The token digits are manually entered into the meter using the keypad and the new purchased value is applied.

In many emerging markets, users only purchase a small amount of electricity at a time – equivalent to a few days supply. Sometimes electricity shops or agents are often sparse and have limited opening hours. As a
consequence, queues for purchase of electricity can be very long – particularly in the late
afternoon and weekends. Often consumers must travel by bus or on foot from their village to the nearest town with an electricity shop or agent. Mobile prepaid vending solutions such as BuyPower mean that users can now conveniently purchase electricity 24 hours a day from their own home, saving time and money on travel costs.