Hubtel Announces Completion of Commercial Agreement with ECG 

March 28, 2024 | 6 minutes read

Kokomlemle, Accra – March 28, 2024— Hubtel, a leading Ghanaian payment services provider, today announced the completion of commercial agreements with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the country’s biggest power distributor. This partnership has transformed ECG’s operations and increased revenue collection significantly. 

Hubtel’s relationship with ECG goes back to 2007, when the company, then operating as SMSGH, deployed ECG’s very first APIs for accessing postpaid bills and sending SMS alerts. In 2022, the relationship was rekindled when Hubtel approached ECG with unsolicited proposals to offer its billing and payment technology to solve ECG’s numerous commercial challenges. By July 2022, an aggressive digital transformation plan was launched by the Board of Directors of ECG, which included a proof-of-concept agreement for Hubtel to implement its proposed solutions at no upfront cost to ECG.  

In fulfillment of the requirements of the proof-of-concept, Hubtel re-designed, developed, and implemented a complete overhaul of ECG’s commercial systems and payment frameworks and also took over the responsibility for processing and securing payments for bills, electricity meter credits, vendor quota purchases, and non-energy invoices.  Hubtel also collaborated with other major technology service providers and relevant departments within ECG to complete the overhaul of ECG’s commercial systems and empower the company’s staff to support revenue collection and growth.  

Before Hubtel’s involvement, ECG faced significant financial and commercial challenges. Hubtel released an accompanying presentation outlining these challenges and the plans it has implemented to resolve them permanently. 

Since the full launch of the new commercial systems in March 2023, ECG has seen the biggest jumps in its revenues and customer satisfaction ratings. 

Speaking on the news, Alex Bram, CEO of Hubtel, expressed pride in the company’s contribution to ECG’s digital transformation journey, stating, “I am proud that our billing and payment technology has proved to be exceptionally useful to ECG’s digital transformation plans. As you know, ECG is such a vast organization with very big legacy problems. So, when the Board of ECG accepted our unsolicited proposals to transform its commercial operations, we knew we had to bring the very best of our experience and technology. And I’m happy we have delivered on time and within the budget limits set by the Board.” 

He further added, “Beyond the successes we have already chalked up on this project, I’m excited about our ability to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor consumption and payments of all customers to detect illegal connections, abnormal behaviour, and tampered or faulty meters. This is not only introducing a new regime for protecting ECG’s revenues but also helping boost the company’s financial performance and strengthen Ghana’s economy.” 

In a note, the Head of Infrastructure at Hubtel, Francis Wilson wrote that “We have tremendously reduced the frequent downtimes, erratic service failure, and poor network performance that was affecting both prepaid and postpaid metering systems. Through the implementation of real-time monitoring tools and a dedicated, proactive monitoring team available 24/7 to oversee transactions, infrastructure, applications, metering systems, and networks, ECG’s metering systems now achieve uptime levels consistently surpassing 99% for many days, leading to improved service quality and customer satisfaction, ultimately driving revenue growth.” 

In an interview, Patrick Asare-Frimpong, Head of Products at Hubtel, emphasized the need to keep in mind the sole objective of constant innovation to drive revenue growth for ECG as demanded by the Board and management of ECG. “This partnership empowers both ECG and its customers to foster a more efficient service delivery. Hubtel’s teams have played a key role in developing several new products and systems, such as the ECG PowerApp mobile application, ECG PowerApp web application, third-paying vending systems, bank & fintech integration tools, staff portal, backend portals, real-time revenue monitoring and assurance systems, and an all-new OperationZero App to tackle power theft specifically. The most important requirement here is to keep improving these systems until ECG becomes strongly profitable.” 

Commenting about the cost of the project and the recurring operating costs of the new systems, Cornelis Rouloph Otoo, Hubtel’s Head of Corporate and Legal Affairs, explained that “While the project is still ongoing, Hubtel’s work with all the other consultants and third-party service providers have not exceeded the US$25m limit we committed to. So far, US$ 12m of this has been accessed to pay for software license fees, database license fees, cloud infrastructure fees, service support, and engineering man-hours. For these systems, ECG has demanded to own all licenses and intellectual property comprehensively.” 

On the recurring costs of the project, he added that, “As we do with our standard agreements with merchants and retailers using Hubtel’s platform, we charge a fee of 1.95% on all transactions processed through the platform. 1% of this 1.95% is typically retained by the mobile money and card scheme providers, and Hubtel receives 0.95% as our fees. In the case of ECG and the complexities of its settlement requirements, we passed on all fees retained by the upstream mobile money & card, settlement, and banking service providers directly to ECG so that we can maintain our fee of 0.95%. Thus, for clarity, Hubtel’s recurring fee for managing ECG’s new commercial systems is 0.95% – the same as we receive from every business that uses Hubtel’s platform.” 

Mr. Otoo went on to say that “…the current payment processing, settlement, and transfer arrangements place significant responsibilities on Hubtel to ensure operational excellence at all times, and we have since November 2022 fulfilled this obligation without any glitch.” 

About ECG 

The Electricity Company of Ghana is the country’s biggest power distributor whose main objective is to supply/distribute electrical energy to the people of Ghana within the Company’s operational areas. The Company aims at operating on sound commercial lines in the discharge of its duties. It also aims at judicious supervision of rural electrification projects on behalf of the Government of Ghana.  

About Hubtel 

Hubtel is a leading indigenous Ghanaian tech company that makes it easy for people to find and pay for everyday essentials and connect with businesses. The company has a mobile application that lets you order food and everyday essentials, pay bills, and make payments. 

The company’s mission is to drive Africa forward by enabling everyone find and pay for everyday essentials. Hubtel is aiming to be Africa’s most useful company; building a platform that everyone can find, pay and easily partake in the emerging digital economy across the continent. 

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