Moving on Mobile Payments

By Jessica Laporte and Shannon Smith

SOIL has learned that successful operational transitions don’t necessarily come in one shape or size. They can be gradual, sudden, planned, or accidental. In the case of SOIL’s decision to transition away from door-to-door payment collection for EkoLakay towards mobile payments, each SOIL office took different approaches, both of which led to significant progress.

Why Mobile Money?

As you can imagine, door-to-door payment collection is time consuming and costly for SOIL and oftentimes is inconvenient for EkoLakay customers. With this in mind, SOIL decided to introduce mobile payments into EkoLakay’s service using Digicel’s mobile banking platform Mon Cash.

Different Tactics, Shared Success

How did we do it? The Cap-Haitien office took a slow and steady approach focused on changing the payment options for incoming customers. This lead to a 20% increase in mobile payments throughout the year, which was possible because of EkoLakay’s consistent customer acquisition rates. In recent months, the Cap-Haitien team acquired customers at a rate of between 20 and 50 families per month. The office has had less success in transitioning old customers from door-to-door payments to the new payment method and will focus on this in the upcoming year’s strategy.

Mobile Payment Rates in Cap-Haitien

While slightly under our set objective, the Cap-Haitien office’s strategy of focusing on new clients has resulted in a steady increase in the percentage of customers paying with mobile money.

Last November the EkoLakay team in Port-au-Prince announced that door-to-door to payment collection would be ending in two months and that customers would then either have to come to SOIL’s office to pay or make their payments on their phone using MonCash. We also introduced a reduced monthly service fee for customers paying with mobile money. The rebate offered for mobile payments amounts to a monthly savings of around seven percent per family, not including the financial savings associated with not having to travel to the office to make the payment. These combination of a financial incentive and no longer making household payment collection available encouraged customers in Haiti’s capital city to quickly change their payment habits.

Mobile Payment Rates in Port-au-Prince

Port-au-Prince’s office has seen less consistent but more aggressive improvements towards mobile money payments.

SOIL is happy to be a part of this technology’s debut in Haiti. We trust MonCash will continue to improve their services and gain more mobile money users throughout Haiti. As of this year, MonCash has over 2,100 agents that serve over 800,000 users. This is up from just 14,000 users in 2015. Mobile money is an easy, safe, and convenient way to send and receive money. But don’t just take it from us! Follow this link to hear directly from EkoLakay customers on why they prefer paying for the sanitation service with mobile payments.

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