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M-PAYG: Next-generation mobile payments for rural electrification

Copenhagen, DenmarkNepal
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

MPAYG is developing pay-as-you-go solutions allowing poor households in developing countries access to solar energy through small-scale mobile money instalments.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if people below the poverty line could access solar energy through the use of mobile phones?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

MPAYG sees a need, which is pointed out by the fact that more than 3 billion people suffer from energy poverty globally. These people primarily live in rural, remote areas disconnected from the official energy-grid and unable to break the cost barrier blocking them from investing in cheaper off-grid energy solutions. Instead they rely on traditional biomass, which is burned inside their homes, causing severe health related issues.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The MPAYG solution consists of a solar PV panel with an integrated payment system. MPAYG is developing a combined hardware and software solution that allows bottom of the pyramid (BoP) customers to buy small-scale installations of renewable energy products, on a pay as you go basis. Leveraging widely adopted, local mobile money infrastructures allows for them to purchase the energy, without the need for exhaustive and risky traveling to the nearest city markets. The installments are matched with or lower than their monthly alternative cost of kerosene (lamp oil), providing stronger incentives for them to abandon their current, hazardous energy sources.
Impact: How does it Work

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The underlying idea of the venture is driven by three macro trends that we predict will continue: 1. The prices of photovoltaics and clean energy production are rapidly decreasing, whereas the price of fossil fuel is on the rise. This makes the switch from fossil fuels to photovoltaics increasingly more attractive. 2. In developing countries, the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions more than doubled from 2011 to 2013 (from 472M to 1.16B) surpassing the developed countries in 2013 (International Telecommunications Union). 3.Last but not least, most of the worlds population is financially restrained, facing interest rates starting around 30% < /year (Micro-finance Information Exchange).

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Rural areas without access to electricity. The proof of concept has already been made in several markets overseas. For example The Grameen Shakti (Energy Branch of Grameen Bank) has managed to solve capital restraints through a very successful combination of micro-finance and energy-products in Bangladesh and installed over 1 million SHS. MPAYG differs from Grameen through its focus on an ‘open platform’, where the scalability and application is not restrained to just solar energy. This solution can be deployed with various different technologies, in various different development projects.


Co-founders: Asger Trier Bing, David Reerman Dizon, Nicolai Harbech.