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Ericsson, M-Pesa partner to simplify safe water payments in Kenya, Tanzania

Africa , 07 Oct 2016

Ericsson, M-Pesa partner to simplify safe water payments in Kenya, Tanzania

Ericsson and Vodafone M-Pesa have partnered in a move that will see Ericsson's M-Commerce Interconnect (EMI) service simplify mobile money payments and cash collection for water in Kenya and Tanzania.

The integrated service simplifies payment for safe water, with its first deployment connecting M-Pesa with the growing network of Grundfos safe water kiosks throughout Kenya and Tanzania, with other countries to follow.

Ericsson earlier this month joined forces with Scandinavian company Grundfos to offer an integrated solution that improves access and payments for drinking water. The aim is to ensure easy connection of mobile wallet providers and water service providers, to simplify access for the end consumer.

Grundfos has developed intelligent and connected water kiosks, which dispense safe drinking water in the developing world. Across rural Africa, 50,000 water supply points have failed, primarily as a result of lack of funds and capacity for operations and maintenance.

The aim of the partnership between Ericsson and Vodafone is to address this challenge via efficient cash collection, reducing the risks of cash management and overhead costs for a scalable safe water solution.

"Vodafone is delighted to enable access to affordable, safe water for our M-Pesa customers as a result of the partnership with Ericsson M-Commerce Interconnect for Grundfos systems," said Michael Joseph, Director of mobile money at Vodafone.

Ericcson Head of Mobile Financial Services Peter Heuman said the move represented a significant leap forward in creating much-needed connections between wallet providers and enterprises.

"When digital payments become pervasive in cash-based societies, new opportunities that were previously unimaginable become reality," he said.

Grundfos' automated and connected water kiosks - also known as water ATMs - offer an integrated solution for dispensing and remotely managing water supply points in both rural and urban areas.

"This is a perfect example of two global corporations integrating their technologies to offer a complete water ATM solution previously unknown to the world. It is now possible to pay for water with mobile money, and water revenue collection is safe and automated," said Peter Todbjerg Hansen, Managing Director of Grundfos.

The scope of the collaboration between Ericsson and Grundfos is global, and while the Vodafone partnership at present only covers Kenya and Tanzania, it will soon be rolled out in others of the 10 markets across Africa where M-Pesa is present.

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