Azuri Technologies, a leader in pay-as-you-go solar technology, was awarded for its cutting-edge solar systems helping to accelerate financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa’s rural communities, at this year’s Financial Innovation Awards.
The company won the Innovation in Sustainability and Social Responsibility Award for it’s Quad solar product, a complete home system providing lighting, phone charging and enabling access to a range of modern financial products, even to the most remote customers.
Azuri’s pay-as-you-go solar products use small payments over mobile money to unlock their solar home systems. For many customers, this will be the first experience of a digital financial service. Using this payment service, customers are then able to access a wide range of modern digital capabilities such as micro-insurance and media content.
“Only a third of the population in sub-Saharan Africa have a financial account, leaving millions excluded from the formal economy. By integrating solar and mobile money, Azuri is able to provide energy for phones and lighting and increase rates of financial inclusion for millions of people,” explains Simon Bransfield-Garth.
With weekly or monthly top-ups, Azuri pay-as-you-go customers are able to build a credit history for the first time, which can then unlock access to additional financial services.
Furthering the economic benefits of solar, Azuri recently introduced HospiCash in partnership with APA Insurance in Kenya to offer customers a new micro-insurance service that provides affordable income cover and life insurance which can be added to their pay-as-you-go system top-ups.
“Azuri’s vision is one that sees a level playing field where all consumers have the ability to benefit from modern financial and digital services, regardless of where they live,” added Simon Bransfield-Garth.
Congratulating Azuri on winning the award, Alex Fraser, CEO at The London Institute of Banking and Finance which hosted the awards, said: “These hotly contested awards recognise companies for their development of innovative products and projects that empower consumers, communities and businesses around the world.”
Over 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity. From home lighting to satellite TV, Azuri systems are designed to deliver world-class performance at an affordable price for all customers who happen to live away from mains power.