CHINESE FIRM TO INTRODUCE FINTECH IN AFRICA TO BOOST SP;AR POWER UPTAKE

NAIROBI-- A Chinese company, Shenzhen JCN New Energy Technology, says it is seeking to introduce financial technology (fintech) in Africa in order to boost solar power uptake by targeting low-income households.

Amdy Luo, the company's sales director, told Xinhua here Tuesday that the firm had developed proprietary technology which would enables households to purchase a solar power kit and make small mobile monthly payments towards the cost.

Luo said that its technology linked customers' monthly payments to system function. "If a customer doesn't make the required monthly payment, their system turns off and this reduces risk of non-payment," Luo said during the 7th Oil and Gas, Africa and Power and Energy 2018 Expo being held here.

Once the customer makes a payment, he or she receives a code on the mobile phone which is entered via a touch pad to activate the solar home system.

The PAYGO solar kits are available for as little as 80 US dollars for 20-watt systems which can light up to two bulbs and charge mobile phones. More expensive kits for 120 watts can light up to four bulbs, charge mobile phones and power a television set.

Shenzhen JCN New Energy Technology hopes to accelerate the uptake of solar usage in Kenya by allowing consumers at the the bottom of the pyramid to make a small deposit of 10 per cent of the value of the kit and thereafter make small monthly payments of between five and 20 US dollars until they complete the payments.

In order to increase uptake of the kits, solar companies can buy the units in bulk and provide loans to poor households in order to improve their accessibility. The PAYGO Platform has been designed alongside hardware, for seamless integration and have been field-tested for more than five years.

It can handle contracts with consumers, generate invoices and receive payments automatically, monitor customer's system data through the mobile phone network (GSM) as well as manage sales.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK