Water ATM - Automated Cashless System
How does it work?
Our kiosks feature a simple e-payment method to ensure that money is securely collected, allowing communities 24-hour access at the touch of a tap.
The automated water dispensing units, also referred to as water ATM, accepts payments from prepaid RFID tokens or tags. Low-income consumers top-up their accounts by buying credit from a vendor or caretaker. Users tap their token against the e-pay reader to dispense water. The revenue is safely transferred to a dedicated account, accessible for maintenance and repairs to safeguard the long-term viability of safe water supply. The nominal tariff that makes up this revenue stream is set through community consensus to ensure patronage and sustainability. This is how our cashless payment system addresses the age-old problem of revenue transparency in rural water supply, enabling long-term reliance, sustainability, and water security through our kiosks.
Transforming rural water consumption
The in-built e-payment system in our kiosks is transforming rural water consumption. It allows Maji communities to safely pay for clean water with a token they have received free of charge. We offer the first 5 buckets for free on each token, once these buckets are consumed users are already acquainted with the convenience the e-pay system offers. The e-pay system works similar to a public transport card, like an Oyster card. Users top it up with water credit through mobile money or cash. With a simple touch, water can be dispensed, 24 hours of the day.
In addition to accelerating access, the water ATMS in Ghana and Kenya allows for a significant decrease in queuing and overall water collection time, particularly for women and girls primarily responsible for water collection in rural settings. The system also creates economic opportunities such as caretaker jobs and maintenance staff, and allows for a commission for the kiosk caretaker on the credits sold to the community.
More importantly, the water ATM system is key in setting Maji communities on the path of self-reliance and water security. It provides for transparency and accountability in revenue collection. The system secures water revenue in a dedicated account, accessible for future repairs and maintenance. The availability of funds for repair, each time the water service is disrupted, not only helps to restore operations on a short notice, it builds community trust and reliance on Maji Cubes, positively impacting the willingness to pay. The e-payment system accelerates access to water and contributes positively to the profitability of the water service, enhancing its sustainability.
Flexible Systems Approach
Thanks to the variety of waterpoint designs, we can cater to the real needs of the community and select the best solution. We also take data-driven decisions to either expand or reduce the size of a scheme depending on the actual demand. This means we never ‘run dry’ but equally we can redistribute assets to other deserving communities if they are underutilised.