Mastercard and M-KOPA today, 26 February 2018, announced a partnership that will provide Africans living without electricity a simple way to light up their homes and businesses.
The official announcement was made during the Mobile World Congress currently underway in Barcelona, Spain.
M-KOPA, will pilot Mastercard’s Quick Response (QR) payment technology in Uganda to extend the reach of its pioneering pay-as-you-go solar program.
Masterpass QR, an open and interoperable technology will create a new payment channel for M-KOPA’s pay-as-you-go customers outside Kenya.
“We may take for granted our ability to produce light with the simple flick of a switch. But for many around the world, simple things like having electricity can be life changing,” says Kiki Del Valle, Mastercard Senior vice president, Commerce for Every Device.
“By using our digital payment capabilities, we want to make it easy for people to access reliable and regular sources of energy and become more economically resilient – earn a livelihood by working from home, keep shops and businesses open for longer and study after dark.”
In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, 625 million people lack access to electricity, relying on bio and fossil fuels such as wood, charcoal and kerosene.
Solar is an independent way for people to power homes and businesses but requires a large, one-time investment.
“We’ve proven that the pay-as-you-go solar model works in East Africa, but the off-grid market in Africa is tremendous. Our partnership with Mastercard provides the roadway for more solar services and infrastructure across the continent,” said Nick Hughes, co-founder and chief product officer, M-KOPA Solar. “QR technology holds great opportunity to extend the range of payment channels for customers and represents a step-change in our mutual goal to light up homes and businesses in Africa.”