The PAYGo Lab applies proven microfinance principles to enhance bankability of the pay-as-you-go business model.
The PAYGo Lab has been developed by Catalyst Energy Advisors, whose team of industry practitioners focus on tackling energy access’ greatest challenges. Recent industry data show that PAYGo companies are only collecting an average of 62% of payment volumes owed to them each month1. This undermines the financial sustainability of the business model, and places PAYGo customers at risk of losing their purchases. As the industry and its financing partners push to finance larger systems alongside productive use appliances, it is particularly critical that credit management improve.
Fortunately, there are proven approaches to solving collections and broader credit management challenges that the industry is facing. This is the core value proposition of the PAYGo Lab.
Our team of seasoned experts in micro- and asset finance works collaboratively with companies to understand the root causes of credit management challenges, and develop a comprehensive, actionable plan. We help to build systems, tools and capabilities to sustainably manage a portfolio at scale, including deploying a self-learning customer credit scoring tool alongside credit metrics and dashboards that give early warning signals if credit management is going off track.
Willem Nolens, co-founder and Managing Director of the PAYGo Lab says: “Besides a dramatic improvement in collection rates, Lab activities help protect PAYGo customers from overindebtedness”.
Asked to comment, Koen Peters, Managing Director of GOGLA, the industry association that promotes, safeguards and convenes the off-grid solar and efficient appliances industry, adds: “To catalyze a new generation of financing into the sector, it is critical that the industry has its credit management fully in order, across the board”.
Jones Ntaukira, CEO of ZUWA Energy, a PAYGo company in Malawi, concludes: “The PAYGo Lab has helped us increase our collection rate from 55% to 84% in just over 18 months. Moreover, our customers are happy – many return for follow-on purchases and to make referrals”.
Catalyst Energy Advisors is a boutique consultancy focused on helping its clients tackle the global energy access deficit. Catalyst brings a unique perspective to its advisory work – the bulk of our team comes from the industry itself, either staff of or investors into energy access businesses. As such, we offer an insider’s perspective to our clients, leveraging this to support enterprises, investors, development partners, and philanthropic organizations.