As part of efforts to remove bottlenecks hindering energy access to households in communities, five leading Solar Home Systems companies: Azuri Technologies, A Solar, Smarter Grid International (SGI) and Sosai Renewable Energy Company have been successfully integrated into SWIFTA’s 20,000+ strong cash collection agent network.
The recent integration follows a rigorous User Acceptance Test(UAT) initiated and financed by Nigerian Off-Grid Market Program recently which would ease subscription collection from unbanked Pay As You Go (PAYGO) customers of the companies.
The six-week integration was financed and project-managed by The Nigeria Off-grid Market Acceleration Program (NoMAP), a market building program jointly supported by the Shell Foundation and USAID that aims to, amongst other things, address the current difficulties faced by Solar Home Systems (SHS) companies in collecting payment from unbanked customers.
The system is designed such that, a PAYGO customer from any of the five companies with a subscription plan can renew its subscription through SWIFTA’s mobile or static agents leveraging on the company’s proprietary OMNIBRANCH platform.
According to NoMAP’s Program manager, Adedotun Eyinade “Customers who are unbanked and living off the grid often face the arduous task of not being able to access Pay As You Go Solar since there are limited options to pay for their monthly subscriptions. Thanks to the integration into Swifta agent’s network, PAYGO customers can now seamlessly pay for their monthly subscription through cash collection agents. NoMAP views the pilot as a workaround to address the challenges associated with Nigeria’s low mobile money uptake which makes it difficult for unbanked customers to pay for Solar unlike their peers in East Africa”.
“It is hoped that these five companies that we have partnered on the integration will be able to expand into new off-grid communities since collection risk will be addressed by this integration”, Adedotun added.NoMAP will collect and report evidence of improvement in sales, churn, default rate, customer experience and energy access to the unserved.
The Nigeria Off-Grid Market Acceleration Program (NoMAP) is an independent market accelerator tasked with tackling inadequately addressed market barriers limiting the growth of the off-grid sector in Nigeria and is jointly funded by the Shell Foundation and USAID.
Swifta is an information technology company that offers a wide range of professional IT services and products. Swifta’s business strategy focuses on offering expert managed services, integration, development services to clients as well as the provision of viable and scalable enterprise software solutions with a focus on delivering exceptional services clients. Swifta’s proprietary platform, called OmniBranches manages a 20,000-strong agent network for last mile collection.