Lock’s new Unlock Offline feature for users with limited internet connectivity

By Chris Moore, Nam Pham, Mauricio Castaneda, Dominique Friedl, Jenny Jin

In rural areas in Africa and Indonesia, our users who are financing a smartphone with the PayJoy Lock might experience a poor user experience if they are not able to update their device once they’ve made a payment due to lack of 3G/4G/LTE network coverage.  

This will differ from country to country but some of our clients estimate that 70% of their customers live in rural areas with poor connectivity. In GSMA’s 2018 Mobile Connectivity World Index, most of the markets that PayJoy operates in LatAm, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia have low to medium LTE coverage at best.  

Introducing Unlock Offline

Our new Unlock Offline feature allows users to enter a code into the PayJoy app that will update their amount of credit and keep their phone from locking, no internet necessary. This feature is core to our social mission of enabling the world’s underbanked to access credit by designing with their contexts in mind.  

A quick overview of the Unlock Offline feature

1) Via Lock API, a PayJoy partner requests a code for a customer who is currently offline.

2) The client sends the generated code to the user by a phone call, SMS, or other user-accessible way.  

3) After receiving the code, the user enters it in the following dialogue box that appears in their PayJoy app’s home screen when we detect that the phone is offline.  

For security measures, we accept 5 attempts daily per user’s device and will monitor any suspicious fraud activities.   

Interested in enabling this feature for your customers?  

This feature is currently in beta in East Africa. If you are interested in this feature as a PayJoy client in your market, please contact us at locksupport@payjoy.zendesk.com.

Lock’s new Unlock Offline feature for users with limited internet connectivity

How We’re Making Our Lock Available to Global Lenders to Scale Financial Inclusion

Jenny Jin, Senior Product Manager

In 2015, PayJoy began by using our patented locking technology to encourage repayment as we financed smartphones.  

A customer financing a new smartphone with PayJoy

The idea was pretty simple. A customer who doesn’t have strong credit wants to take out an affordable loan to buy a new smartphone.  If they’re late on a payment, we don’t charge any late fees to keep our customers from incurring further debt. To encourage repayment, our locking technology kicks in and prevents a customer from accessing their normal phone functions with the exception of emergency numbers and any whitelisted apps and numbers that are critical to a customer. As soon as the customer sends in their payment, the phone immediately unlocks.

After 3 years of financing hundreds of thousands of customers in the U.S. and Mexico, we saw a 50% reduction in defaults from our locking technology, which allows us to lower costs to customers, lend to more people, and help them build their credit.  Many of our customers in Mexico built their credit score to qualify for a credit card after taking out a loan with us. We’re immensely proud of that and we want to do more.

PayJoy’s partner Baobab provides affordable device financing loans in Senegal and Ivory Coast

We want to solve the financial access problem worldwide

According to the World Bank, there are still 1.7 billion people in the world who are still unbanked, but two-thirds of whom own a mobile phone.  We want to scale financial inclusion to all those users. To do that, we began in 2018 to build and share our Lock API with other lenders in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Indonesia, and India.

Now any lender — whether its a bank, retailer who provides point of sale financing, or fintech company — can sign up and use our Lock API to download the PayJoy Lock onto their customer’s phone to collateralize it for a smartphone financing loan or a cash loan.  

If you’re a lender, we want to hear from you

If you’re a lender anywhere in the world, sign up now for a free trial to try out our PayJoy Lock in minutes on a Samsung  (Android 7.0 or higher) or Hisense 11 Android device, zero code required.

Stay tuned! We’ll be sharing more case studies and stories of how we’ve worked with partners to increase financial access for users.

How We’re Making Our Lock Available to Global Lenders to Scale Financial Inclusion