More from: Diaspora

Sogexpress’ Dominique Policard Appears on TV in the U.S. to Promote the Klere Ayiti Solar Remittance Program

Dominique Policard, Executive Commercial Director at Arc’s partner Societe Generale Haitienne de Transferts S.A (or ‘Sogexpress’), appeared Tuesday April 14th in a Miami television interview. The program, Teleskopi, was hosted by Gepsie Metellus, and was broadcast on Island TV, a channel targeted at the Haitian diaspora community in the U.S. Dominique talked about the Klere Ayiti initiative (Haitian Creole for “Light up Haiti”) which is an online platform that allows diaspora members to remit solar products back to families in Haiti, using the existing remittance network and architecture of Sogexpress in Haiti, and the Quick PaySM payment service of Western Union.

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Dominique demonstrated four solar products on the remittance platform ranging in price from $55 to $180, described the options, price configurations and benefits of each, and explained the payment process. She described how a customer in the diaspora can place an order on www.klereayiti.com and then pay for the product at any participating Western Union using Quick PaySM services.

The focus of the interview was on the extensive benefits to customers in terms of education, health, security and livelihoods that have been tested and demonstrated over the course of Arc’s engagement with Sogexpress. The Klere Ayiti platform enables the Haitian diaspora to use remittances to finance renewable energy products for families and friends in Haiti, where a large majority of the population does not have access to electricity.

The platform features a dedicated website that allows diaspora-based customers to pre-order the solar light kit of their choice at www.klereayiti.com. They select the product and then use their order number to complete payment at participating Western Union Agent locations via the Western Union® Quick PaySM platform (present in over 174 countries around the world). Orders are fulfilled by Sogexpress in 3 to 5 working days.

All the products for sale have the capacity to recharge mobile phones, a highly desirable feature in Haiti, and were carefully selected by the Sogexpress team with the help of Arc Finance. All products come with a warranty by local distributors in Haiti.

The Klere Ayiti platform was launched in late July 2015 in Port-au-Prince and Miami. It was the culmination of many months of preparation and hard work by the Sogexpress and Western Union teams, and was made possible with support from the USAID-funded Renewable Energy Microfinance and Microenterprise Program (REMMP) and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Here at Arc, we’re delighted to see this program reaching the Haitian community in the U.S., and look forward to working with all the partners to increase clean lighting access in Haiti.







Western Union and Sogexpress Innovate: Remittances to Fund Renewable Energy in Haiti

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, and Western Union Agent Sogexpress, a leading Haitian money transfer and payment services company and subsidiary of Sogebank, today launched a new platform that enables the Haitian diaspora to use remittances to finance renewable energy products for families and friends in Haiti, where only 28 percent of the population has access to electricity. Read press release.




Arc Finance and Sogexpress Launch KlereAyiti.com

Arc Finance and Sogexpress launch KlereAyiti.com, a new platform for financing clean energy in Haiti through remittances.

Arc’s partner the Societe Generale Haitienne de Transferts S.A (Sogexpress), a leading money transfer and payment service company in Haiti, and the Western Union Company, a leader in global payment services, have launched a new platform called Klere Ayiti, Haitian Creole for “Light up Haiti.” This platform enables the Haitian diaspora to use remittances to finance renewable energy products for families and friends in Haiti, where a large majority of the population does not have access to electricity. This collaboration expands on a pilot implemented from 2012 to 2013 by Arc Finance with support from the Multilateral Investment Fund, a part of the Inter-American Development Bank Group (MIF/IDB).

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The platform features a dedicated website that allows local customers and senders living abroad to pre-order the solar light kit of their choice at www.KlereAyiti.com. They then use their order number to complete payment at participating Western Union Agent locations around the world via the Western Union® Quick PaySM platform (present in over 174 countries around the world). Orders will be fulfilled by Sogexpress in 3-5 working days.

This platform was launched in late July 2015 in Port au Prince and Miami, the culmination of many months of preparation and hard work by the Sogexpress and Western Union. The process involved market research, product selection, website construction, adaptation and development of IT and web platforms, marketing and promotion. The platform will provide an enormous opportunity for innovation in using an established remittance corridor to finance renewable energy in the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

Only 28% of the Haitian population has access to grid electricity , and the 2010 earthquake was devastating in both human and economic capital. The country receives a considerable percentage of its GDP in remittances (over 20 percent of GDP ), with a huge diaspora population living in the US – about 420,000 Haitians live in the New York area alone. Thus, Haiti was an idea choice to test remittances as an end-user financing and distribution mechanism in the 2012-13 pilot phase, and the success of that program has led to its current expansion stage.

The results of the pilot phase were encouraging, and led to a joint venture between USAID and the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund to fund Phase III, which will, after months of careful review, provide the Sundaya T-Lite for purchase exclusively at Sogexpress e-commerce site at KlereAyiti.com. The T-Lite is a modular solar light kits, available as a kit with two or three lights, will be sold for US$140 and $180.

Both systems have the capacity to recharge mobile phones, a highly desirable feature in Haiti. Awango by Total, an initiative of the company Total to market affordable solar lamps in developing countries, is committed to bringing only the highest quality products to Sogexpress customers and backs this assurance with a two-year warranty. The selected systems have been sold in more than 16 countries, with total sales exceeding 600,000 units.

Already, training delivered by Sogexpress, Awango by Total, and Arc Finance in February 2015 has increased the capacity of Sogexpress sales staff to effectively market, sell, and service the Sundaya T-Lite products that will be sold through the remittance platform.

Staff from all 57 Sogexpress stores were trained on the Sundaya products to ensure the staff had optimum knowledge of the lamps’ features, use, and after-sales service, through ongoing training throughout the course of the program, recognizing the importance of client satisfaction in the success of this initiative.

This exciting new program will target 5,000 sales across the remittance platform, with marketing reaching 300,000 existing remittance senders in the Diaspora and 500,000 recipients in Haiti through an awareness-building campaign, which will use energy literacy and promotional programs to educate Haitians both at home and in the diaspora on the economic and social benefits of switching to clean energy products.