Baobab+ Unleashing the Potential of Senegal with PAYG Smartphone.

Baobab+ a subsidiary of Baobab Group, is a leader in digital and financial inclusion and is a social business committed to providing access to energy and digital. Baobab+ commercialize innovative products with financing solutions that meet the needs of local populations in Africa. In partnership with PayJoy, Baobab+ is now unleashing the potential of Senegal by making incredible Smartphones accessible through a PAYG offer which now makes Smartphones accessible to all.

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For more information on PayJoy, visit www.payjoy.com. Join the smartphone financing conversation by visiting the PayJoy blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

For more information on Baobab+, visit https://www.en.baobabplus.com and Facebook pages.

Baobab+ Unleashing the Potential of Senegal with PAYG Smartphone.

Enabling Powerful Smartphone Subsidies

India’s feature phone shipments grew faster than smartphone shipments for the very first-time in 2018 thanks in part to an innovative finance program

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, in 2018, India’s overall mobile phone shipments grew 11% and smartphone shipments grew 10% with feature phones growing faster than smartphones (11%) during the year for the first time ever, driven by the Jio Phone. Reliance Jio was the overall market leader across all handset types in 2018, with a market share of 21% and captured 38% of the feature phone segment in just over a year with its compelling value proposition compared to normal 2G feature phones. This was also recently covered in the WSJ.

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor 2018

Reliance Jio’s compelling value proposition

The JioPhone was launched in July 2017 by the Indian mobile network operator Reliance Jio and was the first affordable 4G VoLTE smart feature phone, powered by KaiOS. The JioPhone, introduced as “India ka Smartphone” was launched at a so called “effective price” of Rs. 0 ($0). However, this was not exactly true. Consumers had to pay a security deposit of Rs 1,500 ($21.60) which was refundable if they returned the phone in 3 years and only if they paid for a Reliance Jio plan during the 3 years. Total cost to the consumer was Rs 6,000 ($86.40) or Rs 4,500 ($64.80) if the device was returned so certainly not free! Reliance Jio has certainly created a compelling value proposition that has been profitable for the company and gotten consumers access to the products they want. According to Counterpoint, half of the more than 100 million subscribers added since the launch of the JioPhone was thanks to this feature phone. Reliance Jio has changed the mobile economy in India by essentially creating a Post-Paid for Pre-Paid plan that tied customer loyalty to the mobile network operator.

The challenge in extending credit in emerging markets

The fundamental challenge mobile network operators or any company for that matter has in extending credit in emerging markets to purchase a smartphone – is the lack of collateral and underwriting data which is why Reliance Jio requires a security deposit and offers the lowest cost 4G handset possible. Mobile network operators would do better if they were able to find a way for consumers to pledge their smartphone as collateral. This would allow mobile network operators to offer better smartphones with little or no security deposit or perhaps even subsidized if the consumer agreed to a minimum mobile service recharge rate per year.

Extending credit by leveraging innovative technologies

PayJoy gives mobile network operators and finance companies a tool to collateralize smartphones that aren’t just the lowest cost phones. With our patented Lock technology, which resists any efforts to be deleted from the mobile device until the subsidy is recovered, we can increase recharge repayments and minimize the risk of late or defaults. We have developed a user experience on our lock that helps customers to track and make their recharge payments seamlessly via the app. When users are late on a recharge payment, they don’t get charged any late fees. Instead the PayJoy Lock limits their app and call functionalities until they make their recharge payment, and instantly restores normal phone functionalities. Through this new “Recharge” form of device subsidy that mirrors the “pay as you go” solar distribution model, we enable users to afford getting a smartphone by using it as collateral, and we enable operators to onboard the next billion users to smartphones and full connectivity.

A New Model Powered by PayJoy

Below is a sample of the kind of model that could be powered by the PayJoy Lock.

5.5″ Full View display
5MP rear camera, 5MP Front Camera
1GB RAM, Quad-Core Processor
Android™ 8.1 (Go edition)
Standard unlocked price: $80
PayJoy Locked price: $30
Recharge: $4.5/1.5GB for 12 months

For more information, visit www.payjoy.com. Join the smartphone financing conversation by visiting the PayJoy blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

Written by Dominique Friedl, GM PayJoy Africa and Jenny Jin, Senior Product Manager

Enabling Powerful Smartphone Subsidies

PayJoy Gets an Astounding 80 NPS in Mexico

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) helps companies measure customer satisfaction. The proponents of NPS argue that NPS is directly related to revenue growth and profitability. Considering that keeping existing customers is 25 times cheaper than getting new ones, maintaining an above industry average NPS is indispensable to sustained growth.


PayJoy Mexico — where unlike our other markets we originate on our own balance sheet — carried out an SMS campaign last week among 5,000 randomly selected customers who used us for smartphone financing in the past 12 months. We asked a simple question:  “Based on your experience with us, from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend PayJoy?” We received 396 responses and calculated our score from there.  You can see the details of our methodology and results below:

Methodology: 

  • From all customers that had purchased a smartphone using PayJoy, the company randomly selected 5,000 of them.
  • The company asked: Based on your experience with us, from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend PayJoy?” 
  • Out of 5,000 randomly selected customers, 53 were no longer in service.
    From those 4,947, we received 396 answers and 41 were not considered due to lack or invalid response, mostly, non-numeric responses.
  • 10 and 9 were considered promoters, 8 and 7 passive and 6 to 0 detractors.
  • The calculation was: Promoters (as a % of total) – Demoters (as a % of total) x 100.
  • If the response was not 0 to10 the answer was not considered (51)
  • Conclusion: Based on our sample and the responses we received “we are 96% confident that our NPS of 80 represents the true population mean (for customers that obtained a smartphone finance by PayJoy).

The final NPS calculated — 80 –means customer satisfaction is considered, by many, world class.  As a benchmark, in Mexico, financial services averages an NPS of 46, while Telecommunications averages 24 and banking averages 37 per CustomerGauge.  83% of people trust recommendations from people in their inner circle per Nielsen, so this also contributes significantly to PayJoy’s growth.

PayJoy’s mission is to provide access to consumer finance to the next billion people worldwide. Mexico, as its first international market and the only one where it originates on its balance sheet, is key to enable PayJoy’s mission since it spearheads initiatives to ensure the products can be launched elsewhere worldwide.

We are very excited to know our customers are happy with our solution. That being said, we are continuing to work on many initiatives to improve our customer experience and give our customers more access to financial products” said Juan Jose Ocariz, PayJoy’s Mexico Country Manager. 

PayJoy Gets an Astounding 80 NPS in Mexico

PayJoy Lock lifecycle end to end

By Jaideep Mirchandani and Dominique Friedl

In previous PayJoy blog posts, we highlighted the problem in lending to the underbanked and underserved and how PayJoy technologies are now helping to solve this problem.

In this post, we’ll talk about how Lock and Access come together to serve these underbanked and underserved consumers. We’ll give an example of how this has worked with a partner in Africa who has a truly end to end integrated consumer journey.

A lifecycle view to enable device financing

Let’s start with the consumer. Once the consumers’ ability to pay has been assessed and they have been approved for a phone on finance (installments), the PayJoy Lock app is installed on their new device, typically by a store clerk. To enable and activate the financing and credit lifecycle, the Finance Partner configures and manages the financed device using the PayJoy Lock API service.

A critical feature of the PayJoy Lock is ensuring that the Lock is secure so that phone finance is both practically and economically viable for the partner, meaning the partner is comfortable that the Lock is easy to set up, works reliably and fosters a strong repayment behaviour. This ultimately starts with the device manufacturer (OEM). OEMs either have built-in device management or they use PayJoy Access to make setup as secure and simple as possible. Briefly, Access is PayJoy’s firmware product which OEMs optionally use to enable automatic setup (“provisioning”) and device management to enable PayJoy’s Lock to work “out of the box” to minimize the number of steps for the user and store clerk to get started. There is a tradeoff between using PayJoy Access and OEM device management. Access is built from the ground-up for phone financing, meaning that it minimizes the number of steps during setup and can provide added security guarantees but the OEM is also required to integrate into their manufacturing processes. To make this step easier, we partnered with key mobile SOC partners like Qualcomm to offer faster integration of PayJoy Access for differentiated devices with improved time to commercialization.

The Lock lifecycle

After the capabilities are baked-into the device, PayJoy’s Lock API enables the finance partner to fully implement the lifecycle to serve the consumer. Deployment of the PayJoy Lock API at scale requires the partner to integrate the Lock into the partner’s business systems which may require additional considerations and setup. Here, PayJoy, provides an end-to-end launch process to help guide a partner’s technical team to integrate and launch Lock API effectively and efficiently.

Functionally, the API allows partners to:

  • Register and take ownership of a device
  • Lock a device at a particular time if payment is not made
  • Permanently unlock a device after it is fully paid

Partners call the PayJoy Lock API to control specific devices; these changes are then propagated from PayJoy servers to the device asynchronously.

Disclosures and Consumer Privacy

We realise that protecting consumer privacy is crucial. At each step of the way, the user is informed and requested for consent both by the Store Clerk but also by the PayJoy software. Just like all Android smartphone apps, Payjoy adheres to the Android permissions model to ensure transparency and customer controls.

Making it easy to customize the PayJoy app experience

Using the Lock API Dashboard a partner can customize the following features of the Lock without any code needed:

  • In-app personalized company logo
  • Whitelisted numbers that users can access (such as Customer Support) when their Lock is enforced
  • Whitelisted apps that users can access when their Lock is enforced
  • Whitelisted IPs for direct server to server API calls
  • Payment Page URL which can embed the partner’s payment page so users can pay directly

A case study – d.light in Africa

Recently, d.light, a global leader and pioneer in delivering affordable solar-powered solutions saw the opportunity to leverage its leadership in PAYG solar and offer smartphones on a pay-as-you-go basis. With d.light’s proven ability to finance and distribute devices, they implemented PayJoy “soup to nuts” to ensure the most secure and most streamlined experience possible for their consumers and merchants.

Specifically, they:

  • Preloaded app – Simple, secure setup using PayJoy Access with a pre-loaded PayJoy Lock. This minimizes data downloads for the consumer and makes the setup process smooth.
  • Ensured commercial-grade Android compliance – d.light devices have successfully passed Google’s Android Compatibility Test Suite (“CTS”), meaning that it is certified as “commercial-grade” per the CTS website.
  • Successfully integrated Lock into the point of sale and financing lifecycle – They successfully used PayJoy Lock API to implement point of sale and setup. This minimizes the number of steps for their store clerks and users in the store, which means fewer errors and a more satisfied user.
  • Successfully integrated Mobile Money to manage devices through the financing and credit lifecycle.

Initial results are positive and as such d.light are rolling out more broadly across the market. Along with the above, strong technical foundation, d.light will deploy their proven team of sales clerks and customer support staff to successfully support consumers with smartphone finance.

We look forward to many satisfied users benefiting from this joint ecosystem effort!

For more information, visit www.payjoy.com. Join the smartphone financing conversation by visiting the PayJoy blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

PayJoy Lock lifecycle end to end

Pay-As-You-Go, from solar kits to smartphones

Can the mobile industry and ecosystem players learn from an industry that has proved its solid technology foundations, high demand and low-income customers’ ability to pay for credit?

Energy poverty is a development challenge that traditional, centralized approaches have been slow to overcome. Globally, 1.1 billion people remain without access to electricity, including 589 million in Sub-Saharan Africa. Alternative energy sources such as solar have existed for decades, but their upfront costs have been unaffordable for most low-income customers, with the vast majority unable to access the credit necessary to extend repayment over time.

The expansion of digital finance systems in the developing world has altered this financial context and enabled new business models that rely on small, regular payments. In the off-grid energy sector a group of solar companies, primarily in East Africa and South Asia, are leveraging digital finance and locking technologies to offer pay-as-you-go (PAYG) energy.

How PAYG solar works

PAYG businesses rely on distributed energy sources where energy is generated at the point of consumption, in the case of PAYG solar, from a photovoltaic panel on the customer’s roof. Products range in size from $150 to $300 small home systems. Customers pay a fixed amount ($25) upfront to receive the product, and then make small, routine payments ($0.40 per day) over time (12 months). PAYG solar units contain hardware that allows the seller to remotely lock or unlock the unit, based on receipt of payment. Once the customer’s prepaid use is completed, the solar device automatically shuts off until the next payment is made. Payment schedules are relatively flexible, allowing households to pace the use of energy according to their cash flow and ability to pay.

From the provider perspective, the ability to remotely activate/deactivate the solar device based on payment significantly reduces the risk of default and theft. This added security allows PAYG providers to offer consumer financing in one of two forms: energy as an asset, where the customer pays off the solar unit over 3–36 months and takes ownership when repayments are complete, or energy as a service, in which the customer signs a long-term lease with lower monthly payments and no intent to own. In this case, assets are upgraded or replaced over time.

PAYG solar success

The model has proved its solid technology foundations, high demand and low-income customers’ ability to pay for clean energy and this can be seen in the strong performance of the PAYG solar market. According to the latest figures announced by GOGLA and The World Bank Group’s Lighting Global program in their first half of 2018 Global Off-Grid Solar Market Report, 3.66 million off-grid solar products were sold globally in the first half of 2018 of which 2.93 million have been sold on a cash basis ($107.50 million value) and 730 000 via PAYG business models ($110.89 million value). The GSMA M4D Utilities estimate that global PAYG solar sales have increased six-fold in the last three years.

Pay-as-you-go for smartphones

The PAYG solar model is also a perfect example of the second wave of inclusive digital innovation impacting lives around the globe. Emerging from the convergence of innovations around the Internet of Things, cloud computing and mobile financial services, these new service delivery models provide flexible payment terms while collecting intelligence on users and the systems they are using, creating a credit history through mobile payments for customers with no formal financial history.

PayJoy gives mobile network operators and finance companies a tool to collateralize smartphones that aren’t just the lowest cost phones. With our patented Lock technology, which resists any efforts to be deleted from the mobile device until the loan is recovered, we can increase payments and minimize the risk of late or defaults. We have developed a user experience on our lock that helps customers to track and make their payments seamlessly via the app. When users are late on a payment, they don’t get charged any late fees. Instead the PayJoy Lock limits their app and call functionalities until they make their payment, and instantly restores normal phone functionalities. Through this new “pay as you go” form of device finance that mirrors the “pay as you go” solar distribution model, we enable users to afford getting a smartphone by using it as collateral, and we enable finance companies and operators to onboard the next billion users to smartphones and full connectivity.

African countries will continue to experience a degree of volatility due to factors such as currency and economic and political instabilities, lack of locally relevant content and technical literacy and affordability. However, innovative technologies and solutions like that of PayJoy can lead to the next African smartphone boom in the longer term. Indeed, market researchers project an increase in the availability of low-cost devices in the region could add a further half a billion smartphone connections by 2020.

However, the time has certainly come to redefine low-cost devices to that of making the purchase price more manageable through financing, an area in which PayJoy is leading the market in Africa and globally.

For more information, visit www.payjoy.com. Join the smartphone financing conversation by visiting the PayJoy blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

Written by Dominique Friedl, GM Africa and Jenny Jin, Senior Product Manager

Pay-As-You-Go, from solar kits to smartphones

Taking our Mission to the Next Level with Greylock’s Series B Investment

Today we announced that Greylock Partners led a $20M Series B investment round in PayJoy, with participation from our seed investor Core Innovation Capital and our Series A lead Union Square Ventures.  As part of this investment, Josh McFarland will be joining our board.  This brings our total financing in debt and equity to about $70M.

This round represents a significant milestone for us.  When we raised our Series A, we were primarily a finance company approving 90% of underbanked applicants in the US and Mexico for device financing using our software.  We are now primarily an enterprise software company enabling the underbanked to get a phone or get a loan in over a dozen countries and we’re continuing to grow globally.  Many of our partners have increased their approval rates from 10% to 90% and reduced their default rates by 50% using our software.

To provide a sense of this shift, here are the public partners we are working with today:

The impact of our technology is hard to fathom, especially for people in developed markets who use credit like water. But if you look at the World Bank map of access to credit worldwide, you can see the delta between developed and emerging markets.

And beyond the data, we hear stories from partners about how our technology is changing lives, not only for the end consumers but for their staff and contractors as well.  For example, with our partner d.Light, we have been able to offer smartphones to customers deep in rural Kenya using field reps on bikes.  This is working so well that a couple of the reps selling these smartphones have been able to set up a dedicated store. Here they are waving at you through your screen from the Kenyan countryside.

We have grown so quickly — and had such an impact wherever we have grown — because credit is sorely needed virtually everywhere as the middle class expands.  Credit requires assessing ability to pay and ensuring willingness to pay, yet the vast majority of the world’s population does not have a credit score and cannot pledge collateral. Enter the PayJoy Lock — now globally available — which converts smartphones into collateral, ensuring willingness to pay and reducing the burden on lenders to assess ability to pay.  

We enable credit not only through our patented technology but also our partnerships, and with this round we plan to invest in both.  We plan to continue to add compatibility partners like chip makers and OEMs to ensure we are relevant to more end users. We also plan to scale up our partnerships with lenders worldwide, specifically ones that have access to capital, underwriting, developers, and distribution.  We look forward to engaging with players throughout emerging markets via our offices in Mexico City, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangalore, and Johannesburg.

We’re excited to continue unlocking access for the next billion and to share more about our partnerships and product innovations soon.

Taking our Mission to the Next Level with Greylock’s Series B Investment

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