Electricity is one utility that most can’t do without. Yet, paying electricity bills in Nigeria comes with a lot of hurdles that make the process altogether difficult. For one thing, people have to visit the nearest distribution companies to pay their bills or buy electricity tokens in spite of busy schedules.
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Not only that, there’s always a high possibility that they might stand in long queues and wait for hours before they can get their bills paid. Moreover, prepaid meter users don’t have it easy as there’s no guarantee of recharging on a weekend since these electricity companies do not necessarily operate on weekends.
Thankfully, startups such as Buypower.ng have sprung up to ease these burdens on Nigerians by creating a digitised system for paying utility bills. Buypower.ng was founded by Benjamin Ufaruna and Asehinde Oladipo in 2016. They came up with the idea for the startup after they had firsthand experience with the problems associated with paying electricity bills in Nigeria.
With the intent to solve these problems, they went to work immediately, reaching out to Utilities in Abuja. Their pitch was simple: they would take care of the cost of rolling out a payment service while utilities would integrate their software. To make this plan come to fruition, the co-founders took on the job of upgrading the backend system of the Utilities’ payments system.
By April of 2016, the co-founders had set the ball rolling on Buypower. Today, they account for up to 40% of the paid electricity market in Abuja, all without spending any amount of money on marketing, according to Ufaruna. As of 2017, the startup was already making $1 million in revenue a month.
From Abuja, Buypower has expanded its operations to Jos, Lagos, Kaduna, Oyo, Enugu, and Rivers State.
How To Pay Electricity Bills On Buypower
To pay bills on Buypower, users first have to register on the platform. Once they’ve registered, they can log into the platform to pay their electricity bills. To recharge, users have to enter their metre number, input the amount they want to pay and make payments via credit cards or bank transfers. Buypower provides prepaid users with an electricity token which they load on their metre to recharge. Postpaid metre users, on the other hand, get payment recipes.
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Buypower is not the only startup of its kind in Nigeria. There are other platforms as well as banks offering the same services that Buypower offers. But Buypower stands out for its modern backend system.
“One of the problems BuyPower is addressing at its core is building a modern backend system for the utilities. This is very critical because the existing technology for some Utilities was built on legacy systems which limits the amount of traffic and stress they can handle. This is why most times, customers experience endless network downtimes at payment centres.”BuyPower
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