Buying ZESA prepaid electricity tokens on the internet is nothing new. For about a year now it’s been possible, with the noteworthy solution being TelOne’s Telpay website which we wrote about last year. There’s a new interesting addition though and this new service solves a key problem with zesa token vending, which the other platforms have seemingly ignored – reliability. The service is called Power.Plus and it was launched in February this year.
First, a summary of the problem: if you have tried to buy an electricity token at agents using cash, you’d know that it’s not uncommon to hop from one shop to another when ZESA the system or some it’s super agents (Agribank, CBZ, Netone, ZB Bank etc) is offline.
Same happens for people trying to buy tokens on the Telpay site – if the ZESA system (or whatever Telpay is using to connect to ZESA) is offline, it’s tough luck – come back and try again later! Some people who have complained about the issue say this has happened even after the customer has transferred the money from their mobile money wallet to these platforms.
Power.Plus solves the problem like so: You register an account with them and add your ZESA meter number. When you buy electricity, it tries to complete the transaction immediately, but when it finds the ZESA system is down, it notifies you, queues the transaction and keeps trying at regular intervals in the background. In the meantime you can close the site and go do other things. Eventually when the ZESA systems comes online and Power.Plus completes the transactions, it sends the recharge token number via SMS. That way no one has to frantically keep checking if the system is online. Simple, but really convinient.
The company providing the service is called Zodzo.net. We spoke to the founder of the company, Kuziva Zimunya, for this article so we could understand more what they’re building. He says their focus is understand the needs of their customers are and that already they are learning some interesting ways they are adding convenience.
“We are getting new meter registrations everyday. With the current cash crisis we have also become relevant to companies as we accept RTGS and Bank Transfers – something they do not enjoy when they go to the cash agents. Supermarkets demand cash – and for a companies on prepaid meters where the bills average around $4000, they get stuck,” he told us.
Power.Plus accepts payment from EcoCash, Telecash, Vpayments and RTGS. It’s a bit of a problem of course for those that would prefer to buy using VISA or Mastercard.
On other things they offer that differentiate them Zimunya says because they create Power.Plus accounts for their customers, they are not only able to keep retrying transactions when the ZESA system is down, but can keep a transaction history for their clients which makes it convinient for those looking to reconcile accounts or trying to understand their poweer consumption better.
In future, he says they plan to sell more digital tokens but are focused on understanding the prepaid electricity tokens customer for the time being.