From the Insight archives: Vendtech brings a new prepaid electricity solution to Sierra Leone

With Vendtech, Sierra Leonean entrepreneur Victor Blell has brought a new way of buying electricity credits to the country, using mobile point of sale machines. The venture took several years to set up, but is already nationwide and is fast becoming a popular option with consumers.

Victor Blell’s IT background meant he was familiar with the technology; he is the country representative for the rm African Innovators, who are behind the technology and uses their rugged point of sale machines to sell National Lottery tickets. He also has personal experience with prepaid electricity in the UK and US, and spotted a gap in Sierra Leone’s market.

“Prepaid electricity is already sold via Airtel money and Splash, but these require mobile phones, phone credit and a charged phone. The Vendtech option allows consumers without access to a mobile phone to buy prepaid electricity from our vendors,” he explains.

The company plans to employ around 150 vendors within the coming year, as it rolls out its service. The machines are simple to use, mobile and because they print out a receipt, customers experience a high level of confidence in the system.

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