Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) solar businesses provide household-scale solar energy with a payment scheme tailored to the budgets of bottom-of-the-pyramid customers. By allowing poor households to pay for solar products in small increments, PAYG solar is a viable option for households not currently served by a reliable grid, and is a cleaner, safer alternative to kerosene for lighting. Because PAYG solar systems are often integrated with mobile money (MM), sufficient MM infrastructure is a key enabler to scale solar off-grid energy (OGE). At the same time, demand for off-grid energy can encourage MM adoption. Under certain circumstances, this can lead—and has led—to a virtuous cycle of financial inclusion via accessible household services.

This assessment provides an overview of five key considerations relevant to determining where PAYG solar is more likely to drive financial inclusion through mobile money adoption. This assessment framework outlines five questions that cover key features of MM and energy markets. The goal is not to provide full market intelligence, but rather to inform the development of an investment strategy in PAYG that may contribute to a complementary goal of financial inclusion. 

This framework outlines the five key questions of the rapid assessment and provides for each:

  • a brief explanation of the relevance of the questions
  • a list of resources with available data to inform the assessment
  • secondary questions that could be answered through further research or collaboration