The impact of digital payments on the off-grid sector

A report on how digital payments continue to transform the off-grid energy sector.

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In this brief report, we outline the development of digital payments and their significant impact on the distributed, off-grid energy sector.
Digital payments are all non-cash payments, in which the payer initiates the payment electronically. One type of digital payment is mobile money. This disruptive technology has emerged as a leading payment platform in many developing countries with over 866 million registered accounts (143 million were added in 2018 alone) and transactions worth $1.3 billion conducted every day.

Key findings:

  • The rise of digital payments, and mobile money in particular, are directly associated with the rapid growth of the OGS sector.

  • Historically, digital payment platforms have been proprietary solutions. Now, a number of third-party solutions are available, such as PaygOPS and Paygee. This lowers the market entry barrier for new OGS and mini-grid companies.

  • The evolution of digital payments has not plateaued. There is ongoing and promising research and development in the core technology, as well as on the data analysis around it.

This document is part of the sector-wide report Energy access, data and digital solutions which is available here.

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