A new service has now used an ATM-like water dispenser that will accept transactions via phone.
Ericsson and Grundfos (a global pump company) have come together to create a mobile payments service accepting water dispenser. The machine functions like an ATM, except that people withdraw clean drinking water instead of cash. Moreover, people don’t need to have cash or credit card accounts to use it as long as they have their mobile phones handy.
The water access service is from a partnership between the Scandanavian tech company and Grundfos AQtap.
The water dispensing ATM uses the M-Commerce Interconnect mobile payments service from Ericsson. This offers a hub for accepting purchase transactions through mobile payment services. This service officially rolled out this week in Kenya’s Makueni county. It is a program that was implemented via World Vision Kenya and World Vision UK.
This mobile payments service was implemented to help overcome one of the largest program struggles.
Past water supply points have frequently faced occasional or complete failures for several reasons. Top among them has been inadequate funds and a lack of operations and maintenance capacity.
Through the integration of a new collection model for revenue, the goal is to keep the program going. In this way, Kenyans within the region will be able to access drinking water that is reliably available. Moreover, it will help to reduce the risks of cash management, will lower overhead costs and will collect revenues with greater efficiency.
Should this first location prove to be successful, the intention will be to open water ATMs that accept mobile payments in other places, too. This will apply not only to Kenya but also to other developing nations. Over time, this can help to improve the expansion and maintenance of water infrastructure as a whole.
According to Grundfos Lifelink’s Peter Todbjerg Hansen, MD, when speaking of the mobile payments service for water access, “This is a perfect example of two global corporations integrating their technologies to offer a complete water ATM solution previously unknown to the world. It is now possible to pay for water with mobile money, and water revenue collection is safe and automated.”