QR payments solution launched to help provide simple and affordable payments for people and businesses in Uganda
Mastercard in partnership with M-KOPA Solar and Centenary Bank, celebrated the first ‘pay-as-you-go’ QR transaction this week, officially launching the initiative, which provides a simple and inexpensive way to power the homes and businesses of Ugandans. M-KOPA, which already provides affordable, safe and clean energy to three million people in East Africa has launched Mastercard’s Quick Response (QR) payment technology in Uganda to facilitate and extend the reach of its groundbreaking pay-as-you-go solar program.
The launch of the program took place in Entebbe and was attended by Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer of Mastercard, who made a special visit to Uganda to be part of the milestone ceremony.
M-KOPA’s life-changing products combine lights, mobile phone charging, radios, smart phones, TVs and fridges. To connect to M-KOPA and start to build their credit history, customers pay a deposit and then small daily payments towards electricity that are usually less than what they would have spent on kerosene, candles and batteries over the same period of time.Developed by Mastercard Labs, the new Mastercard’s pay-as-you-go API solution will empower M-KOPA and Centenary Bank to bring new payment innovation to the market, combining low cost QR technology – an open and interoperable technology, with the Internet of Things (“IoT”) to lead more secure and efficient payments in the market. Customers are enabled to make payments from their mobile phones by scanning a QR code or using an USSD interface.
Nick Hughes, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, M-KOPA Solar says, “M-KOPA has proven that our flexible financing model, underpinned by IoT systems and telemetry, is a scalable and efficient way for millions of people to acquire life-changing services and products. For example, 94% of our customers report an improvement in their children’s ability to do homework after taking our basic lighting product. M-KOPA’s partnerships – including integration with the Mastercard QR payment platform – are opening up even more productive asset-financing services and infrastructure. ”Centenary Bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Fabian Kasi highlighted that, “This tripartite partnership shall go a long way in enhancing our bank’s efforts geared towards promoting the use of clean and safe energy by our customers in the various communities we serve”.
He added, “The mode of payment is an affordable solution for our customers, many of whom live in rural areas with little or no access to electricity and other necessities including structured financing which this campaign addresses.”