In a bid to improve energy and telecommunications access for the 1.3 billion people in emerging markets without electricity, San Francisco startup Fenix International has launched ReadyPay, an ultra-affordable “pay-as-you-go” energy solution.
Launched with MTN—Africa’s largest telecom— Mike Lin, CEO of Fenix International, said: “Fenix is delighted to build on our 4 year partnership with MTN to launch the ReadyPay Solar Power System. ReadyPay will bring clean, reliable solar energy to the 30 million Ugandans without access to electricity. The rapid growth and adoption of Mobile Money enables us to make energy even more affordable with flexible payments to match our customers’ needs.“
The ReadyPay Power System is available on a pay-as-you-go basis using MTN Mobile Money, a payment platform that allows mobile subscribers to send and receive money via their cell phones. ReadyPay enables customers to make affordable and flexible payments for electricity on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to charge their phones and power lights, radios and TVs.
Starting from 40,000 Uganda Shillings (less than $16), a customer can a take a ReadyPay kit home with 7 days of power included. Additional days can be purchased via micropayments as low as 1,000 Uganda Shillings ($0.39). Micropayments are credited towards the customer owning the solar kit over time, while powering their homes or businesses.
“For example, on the most affordable kit, a payment of 1,000 Uganda Shillings will provide power for a day, whilst a larger payment of 30,000 Uganda Shillings will provide power for a month”, said MTN Chief Marketing Officer Ernst Fonternel. “This is all thanks to MTN Mobile Money which means customers can make small, affordable payments until they own the system.”
Fonternel added that the product was launched in Lira on 18 November 2013 with great success and is set to roll out across Uganda early next year.
Talking about the key benefits of the product, Fonternel said: “The ReadyPay Power System provides bright, safe, reliable lighting without the risk of using kerosene lamps, and secure phone charging without leaving your own home. It’s easy to set-up, no technician is needed, and comes with an 18 month warranty.”
Fenix International first began developing energy products with MTN in Uganda in 2009. ReadyPay builds on the success of Fenix’s first product, the ReadySet, a plug-and-play solar charging system that Fenix designed to empower entrepreneurs to charge phones and lights at kiosks in communities without electricity.
ReadyPay is a multifunctional solar power system that includes a solar panel, smart battery featuring two USB ports & two car lighter adapter ports plus a range of lights and phone charging accessories. Larger kits include a radio or TV. Additional accessories like hair clippers or flashlights are sold separately.
About Fenix International
Founded in 2009, Fenix International is a venture-backed renewable energy company based in San Francisco, California. With core expertise in power electronics, product design and base-of-the-pyramid marketing, Fenix’s mission is to deliver renewable energy to the 1.3 billion people who live without power in emerging markets. www.fenixintl.com
About MTN Uganda
Launched in 1998, MTN Uganda is the leading communications operator in Uganda, offering Mobile and Fixed telecommunications, Mobile Money Services and Internet Service Provisioning. As of 30 September 2013, MTN Uganda recorded 8.4 million subscribers across Uganda. Visit us at www.mtn.co.ug and for our football fans www.mtnfootball.com. Customers can also follow us on www.youtube.com/mtnug and www.twitter.com/mtnugandacare for assistance.
About the MTN Group
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN.” As of 30 September 2013, MTN recorded 203.8 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Visit us at www.mtn.com.
For more information, please contact Fenix International:
Marketing Director, East Africa
Business Development Director
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