In a place where communication and transportation are very limited, the
folks here have figured out a really cool method of handling such things as paying your electric bill, buying cellphone time and Internet capacity
and even purchasing cable TV time.
You see kiosks like the one shown here everywhere, in the grocery stores, in the malls, and almost anywhere there are a lot of people.
Here's how it works... If you want
to buy cellphone minutes, you select your carrier, then enter your phone number
and the amount you want to purchase. You insert the money (cash) in the
slot and it spits out a receipt and adds that number of minutes to your phone. Super easy.
You buy Internet capacity and cable TV time in a very similar way by entering your account number. So if your Internet or cable TV stops working, you go to one of these clever little machines and crank it up again by showing them the money.
It's a little different for electricity. You
still go to the kiosk and purchase kilowatt hours of electricity, but you don't want to take a chance of running out. So they put little meters in your house like the one on the left that constantly shows how many kilowatt hours you have left. I have found that I am much more inclined to turn the lights off when I can actually see my capacity declining
Think of the implications of this
system and the potential labor savings. With this system, there are never
any unpaid bills. There is no need for a "Collections" department.
If you don't pay your cellphone bill, you don't use your cellphone. If you
don't buy electricity, you are in the dark.
Thanks over and over for your prayers for us as we serve in Uganda this summer.