OpenPAYGO Pass allows clients in areas with no mobile money and/or very poor connectivity to get a seamless PAYGO service through an RFID badge mechanism that will simplify the activation process and provide free data feedback in places where cash collection is required for PAYGO. The data feedback can open access to result-based financing opportunities to clients that would otherwise be excluded from it.
There are countries where there are still no mobile money providers and clients of PAYGO products go to kiosks to pay, give the serial number of their devices and get a token on a piece of paper that needs to be written by hand. This is prone to error, time consuming, risky and does not allow usage metrics to be obtained, which blocks clients from receiving some subsidies and manufacturers from improving their devices with data.
This process could be improved and allow getting usage data by using an RFID card that is tapped on the device before going to the kiosk to pay and tapped at the kiosk after paying to exchange the usage data and load the PAYGO activation. This general concept is used by utilities in some country (without the data feedback part) and is very cost effective while greatly improving the client journey while getting free data feedback.
In areas where there is no mobile money or no phone connection, clients currently have a very cumbersome process to activate their devices, where the clients must:
- Note down the serial number of their devices correctly (potential for human error)
- Go to the nearest agent/kiosk available to pay
- Give the agent the serial number of the device and the cash, the agent will then need to enter them into their app or via SMS (potential for human error) to register the cash collection
- The agent receives the token that he dictates to the client that needs to note it down properly (potential for human error)
- The client goes back home and enter the token into the device, if there was a mistake he needs to go back
This problem is cumbersome, time consuming and extremely prone to error. Moreover, this system does not allow for data feedback, which is a requirement for many result-based financing (RBF) programs that subsidise solar kits for end-clients, despite the relatively high typical cost of data feedback.
The solution relies on very low cost RFID readers (<1$) integrated in PAYGO devices and RFID tags (0.01$ - 0.5$ depending on style) to be given to clients, allowing a greatly improved client journey and free data feedback.
This general mechanism (without the data feedback part) is used by some utilities (such as in Ghana) and is a proven and very cost effective way to extend the benefits of PAYGO products to areas without mobile money by having a much simpler and less error-prone client journey, as well as opening the way to get result based financing for those clients that are usually excluded due to connectivity issues.
The improved client journey would be as follows:
- The client goes to the nearest agent/kiosk available to pay
- They give the agent their tag (e.g. keychain), the agent taps it on his app when he collects the cash.
- The client goes back home and taps their tag onto their device
We will develop the project the same way we did OpenPAYGO Token, by starting with discussions with manufacturers and distributors potentially interested by the solution and gathering feedback to create a thorough list of requirements.
We will then go on to engineer the system, prototype it and do some field or field-like testing to validate the solution.
Finally, we will create an easy to use development kit with a few Arduino-based examples to make it very easy for manufacturers to integrate the technology in their products adding only ~1$ to their COGS.
The whole innovation will be open source, the deliverables will be:
Website page presenting the project and the concept and use cases
General documentation introducing the project and use cases in more details and guiding interested people on where to start depending on their situation
SDK for the technology
At least one concrete functional examples using the technology made with Arduino (e.g. an example PAYGO lamp controller with the fully integrated system with OpenPAYGO Token+Pass with usage data of the hours of use)
Technical documentation for the SDK and the examples
Open source mobile app able to read/write a smartcard and connect to any server supporting OpenPAYGO Metrics to upload the usage data and get back the activation token
Everything published on Github
If anybody would like to discuss the project further please let us know, we are open to any feedback. If you would like to be part of the initial pilot for this project please let us know as well.