Blue Label Telecoms subsidiary Cigicell has won a third-party distribution and vending agreement for prepaid electricity with two major municipalities, Ekurhuleni and eThekwini.
“We were awarded the Ekurhuleni municipality tender in October last year and commenced vending prepaid electricity tokens on 1 January this year,” says Alan Kodesh, CEO of Cigicell. “In six months, prepaid electricity sales through Blue Label’s online systems and unique UniPIN voucher product, has increased to 80% of all electricity sold by third party vendors in this municipality.”
UniPIN is a prepaid electricity voucher that allows consumers to recharge their electricity using their cellphones. Once the consumer purchases a UniPIN voucher, they send their meter and voucher number to UniPIN’s USSD number and a token is sent back to them via SMS. The consumer then inserts the token number received into their meter and the electricity is recharged..
“Essentially, with UniPIN, recharging electricity is as simple as recharging airtime,” Kodesh says.
Dr Fred Fryer, Director: Revenue Services (Energy) from the Ekurhuleni Municipality, says: “Third party prepaid vending makes our services easily accessible to prepaid consumers and helps them better plan their expenditures. Consumers can now recharge their electricity meters 24/7, previously only available during office hours. We also believe that meter tampering is discouraged by this payment method.”
The eThekwini tender was also awarded in 2010 and Cigicell started distributing prepaid electricity in this municipality in June, working closely with the municipality to create awareness of the new service and making recharging of electricity easily accessible and convenient.
“We chose to partner with Cigicell as our preferred third party vendor, as they have a vast footprint of vendors and their systems integrated well with ours,” says Sandile Maphumulo, Head: eThekwini Electricity. “Through Cigicell’s vendor capabilities, our residents will now be able to recharge their prepaid electricity meters conveniently at their preferred and nearby outlet, improving our service delivery to our community.”