Traditional pay-as-you-go models for last-mile distribution operations work to enable customers to use the Paygo-enabled asset or service for a period of time (usually days), upon a predefined (fixed) payment, until the customer finishes paying the total cost of the device and owns it. This rent-to-own model has been the main trend in the distribution of paygo solar home systems.
Some distributors are exploring different business models, such as energy-as-a-service, water-as-a-service or gas-as-a-service. Under these models, also called pay-per-use, they do not charge their clients a fixed amount of money that would generate a token to activate the system for a predetermined period of time, instead, they charge their clients according to the usage they do of the device/service: litres of water for solar water pump businesses; kW/hour for solar energy providers such as mini-grids; kilograms of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) for clean cooking distributors.
PaygOps new pay-per-use offer
Understanding the growing needs of distributors to diversify their business models and offer services under an usage basis, PaygOps is developing new features to enable users to structure pay-per-use offers in addition to the classic pay-per-days model; managing payments according to the quantity of energy, gas, water, etc. consumed; and the entire set of operations, from sales to after-sales purposes.
This means that PaygOps can be more easily integrated with the smart metering solutions of different devices and automatically generate a code to activate the device according to the quantity of water, of energy or of gas paid by the end customer. The system will turn off when the prepaid quantity has been consumed. These new features include:
Management of mobile payment and cash collection in areas with little or no mobile money coverage;
Increased payment flexibility to their customers Improved communication with their clients via SMS to confirm payments, send offers and notify them when the credit purchases is getting to an end;
Support on maintenance and customer service.
Advantages for energy as-a-service providers:
PaygOps can support distributors offering energy services through mining-grids and solar home systems;
PaygOps generates an activation code after receiving the customer’s payment, to allow the client to activate the smart meter according to the amount of energy paid;
Customers are charged per unit of time or per kWh consumed or according to a flat rate;
PaygOps offers an Add-on feature that allows distributors to sell multiple solar/electric appliances (under a pay-as-you-go model). This allows distributors to reach more customers, develop deeper customer relationships and offer more tailored products and services.
Advantages for water-as-a-service providers: “pay-as-you-grow” (irrigation systems) or “pay-as-you-drink”:
PaygOps can support distributors offering water services through solar water pumps, pre-paid smart water meters, water ATMs;
PaygOps generates an activation code after receiving the customer’s payment, to allow the client to activate the smart meter according to the amount of water paid;
Customers either make continuous service payments to have access to the device (solar water pump providers can offer a perpetual lease or service model) or own the device once a certain amount has been paid;
Track the litres the client has paid in the past for and the current volume of litres prepaid for.
Advantages for LPG pay-as-you-cook providers:
PaygOps generates an activation code after receiving the customer’s payment, to allow the client to activate the smart gas valve, according to the amount of gas (kg) paid:
PaygOps allows distributors to offer free delivery and safe installation while retaining ownership of the cylinder which gets replaced or refilled once the customer runs out of gas; this eliminates the high cost of a cylinder for the customer;
By integrating with the smart metering system, PaygOps enables distributors to monitor fuel consumption and the ability to control remotely the system;
PaygOps offers an Add-on feature that allows distributors to also sell stoves and other cooking accessories, allowing their customers to pay these components under a pay-as-you-go model (under instalments, until the appliance is owned by the client). This allows many households to own a gas stove for their very first time.
About Solaris Offgrid:
Solaris Offgrid supports solar energy distributors to build strong customer traction and greater relations with investors through flexible and inclusive Paygo solutions, designed for last-mile operations. Adopting a bottom up approach in the design of its solutions and creating synergies with a strong network of partners to solve last-mile challenges, the company has already deployed Paygo solutions in nearly 20 countries through PaygOps, Solaris Offgrid in-house software solution built “In the Field, for the Field” and its product design services. Leading reference in the off-grid solar market, PaygOps, is engineered to deliver modular and interoperable solutions to address off-grid energy access challenges and distribution complexity. For more information on PaygOps, please contact [email protected].