Clean Team, a Ghanaian social enterprise set up by WSUP, has won a Digital Development Award from USAID for its innovative approach to mobile money.
The “Digis” recognise USAID projects and activities that embrace best practices in the application of digital technologies to address urgent development problems.
Set up by WSUP in 2012, Clean Team provides its customers with a container-based toilet and a twice-weekly waste collection service for a low monthly fee. The waste that Clean Team collects is then safely disposed of at the Kumasi Sewage Works.
Clean Team uses digital tools in sanitation services to meet an urgent community health need. After finding that the process of collecting cash payments from customers with very little disposable income was expensive and time-consuming, Clean Team decided to partner with MTN, the mobile money market leader in Ghana, allowing customers to pay directly into their Clean Team account.
The social enterprise’s transition to mobile money (MoMo) has enabled customers to make small, cashless payments in amounts and at times that are convenient for them, resulting in the provision of a better service for Kumasi residents. The use of MoMo has eliminated costly cash collections and automates payment reconciliation.
As of June 2017, 1,250 of Clean Team’s customers had signed up to the MoMo service (96% sign-up rate); since August, 65% of customers have made their collection payments via the service. The MoMo platform has been integrated into Clean Team’s mobile-based enterprise system, providing real-time data on payments and reconciliations; this allows waste collectors to have better sight of customers’ credit and payments of the service.
One of the major benefits of the MoMo system is that account managers can now focus more of their time on community sales development (as opposed to chasing delinquent payments).
Although this process involved a re-design of their business process, logistics and resource requirements, Clean Team’s move towards digitisation aims to support long-term growth. After a four-year pilot programme, Clean Team is building for sustainability and scale – looking to reach 5,000 homes within the next two years. Improving cash flow, customer payment options and cost of collections are just three ways in which the mobile money platform is contributing to these goals.
Funding for Clean Team’s transition to MoMo came from WSUP’s contract with USAID’s Sanitation Service Delivery (SSD) programme. WSUP is an implementing partner of SSD, a four-year programme which seeks to increase use of improved sanitation, linking the public and private sectors to be more efficient and effective in the provision of sanitation services, increase use of safe disposal and/or reuse of faecal waste at scale, and share learning on market-based approaches to the provision of sanitation services throughout West Africa.
Neil Jeffery, Chief Executive of WSUP, said:
“Enabling Clean Team’s partnership with MTN and the roll-out of a mobile money service for its customers is one of the many ways in which WSUP works with the private sector in emerging economies to develop innovative approaches to improved water and sanitation services for urban low-income customers.”
Read more about the Digis at www.digitaldevelopment.org/digis.
Learn more about Clean Team at www.cleanteamtoilets.com.