Canada-based Redknee Solutions has announced that it is helping Jamaica-based international mobile operator Digicel offer prepaid electricity to consumers and businesses in Papua New Guinea. Digicel has been using Redknee’s converged billing system to provide its customers with prepaid and postpaid offerings for voice, messaging and data. The Redknee software is now also allowing Digicel to monetize other services across various industries, including utilities. Its system supports Digicel’s ‘Easipawa’ prepaid electricity metering service, enabling Digicel customers to purchase electricity at any time directly from their mobile phones. Energy customers enter their meter number and the required amount of electricity, receive an SMS message confirmation, and have the payment deducted directly from their Digicel airtime balance. Digicel’s postpaid customers can also use the service, with the purchased amount of energy added to their monthly bill.
We think that extending mobile payment to include utilities is an attractive innovation that should be appealing in an emerging economy such as Papua New Guinea. Leveraging Redknee’s technology to allow the purchase of electricity via mobile payment accounts should benefit Digicel, the electricity providers, and the customers alike. Provided the process is seamless enough, it looks like a win-win proposition.