M-Kopa is using mobile money platforms to provide solar power to off-the-grid consumers around Kenya.
Access to electricity is still a a major challenge in most areas on the continent. Where solar products are available, access and affordability tend to be a deterring factor. This is a double tragedy, as most of those in need of power at the bottom end of the economic pyramid. One company has found the perfect balance working off the backbone of the very prevalent mobile phone networks and mobile money to provide a working solution.
As well as creating serious health issues with the users, the traditional kerosene lamp is also a hazardous piece of equipment. “kerosene is highly flammable and at times kids, in the process of studying using them, burn houses down”.
M-Kopa have brought to the market, M-Kopa solar, which is not only a healthier, safer alternative but has great financial advantage to the user; anyone with a mobile phone can easily purchase it. “We’ve been able to come up with a concept where we’re delivering solar energy to people in their homes at their comfort with the deposit of 3,500 KSH and 50 sjillings a day payment” – Achoki Denga, Chief Commercial Officer; M-Kopa
The M-Kopa easy pay system works off mobile money platforms. The individual who is registered on the phone network buys the product and it is installed in the home. His/her phone number is then registered on the M-Kopa system. Everyday the user pays 50 bob via their phone and the system then allows the unit to work. If a payment is missed, the M-Kopa system will disable the unit’s functions.
The M-Kopa system isn’t just lighting up the lives for people at home but also their businesses. It has helped individuals and groups be able to manage their finances from the extra bit of money they’re left with at the end of the day.
Additional products are a water tank, an energy-saving jiko and a bicycle.