EZPack® is introducing a pre-paid system secured by blockchain payment system.

Introduction

  • On average, cities and towns in Africa are growing at 5% per annum—faster than anywhere else in the world. Water service providers face considerable challenges to meet this growing demand.
  • Meeting the demand, especially in the rapidly expanding unserved poor settlements, requires new thinking and innovation.
  • This is one reason why there has been a surge in interest among African water service providers in prepaid water billing systems.
  • Pre-paid water billing system ensures the provider will be paid for the water consumed, since the billing is done in advance – prior to the consumption.
  • One of the crucial elements of pre-paid water billing system is the billing interface with the customer. It needs to be easily accessed by the customers, and it needs to be reliable, robust and secure.
  • EZPack® is introducing a pre-paid system that is based on billing through the cellular phone account, using smart-water meters, and secured by blockchain payment system.

System Description

  • The pre-paid water billing system proposed here has the following elements:
    • Cell-phone app for ordering and paying for water.
    • Payment and control system based on Blockchain.
    • Smart meters at the customer location.

The following diagram shows the system layout:

The following diagram shows the billing and water supply process:

  • The payment process will be as follow: Cell company will charge the customer and transfer the payment to EZPack®. EZPack® will transfer the payment to the Local Water Vendor and will send authorization to the customer’s smart-meter to open the water, and the amount of water allocated to him. The smart-meter will control the customer’s water valve and will supply water to the customer as long as the customer has water allocated to him. Once the customer utilizes the amount of water allocated to him, the smart-water will shut-off the valve until additional water will be allocated to the customer. All the process will be automatically executed by the system.
  • The customer will receive warnings before the he fully utilizes his water allocation, so he can pay for additional allocation, without experiencing water shut-off.
  • The billing and allocation will be incorporated into a blockchain platform.
  • The Blockchain platform:
  • The following chart shows the concept of how the blockchain will handle transactions:
  • Each block in the system includes water allocation request and payment associates with it. The way the system is built, block can be added to the system only if it approved by the previous blocks. That way, the system ensures that only approved transactions can be generated, and the possibility of anyone to be able to hack the system, or generates transactions illegally, is practically zero.
  • Once the customer initiates a payment, the all process is done automatically. The blockchain system has predefined “Smart Contract” which defines the all process, who gets what, and how the payment is executed and delivered. So, the local water vendor will receive the payment automatically every time a customer is paying.
  • The advantages of using the blockchain are:
    • System is secured and almost impossible to hack.
    • No fake transactions can be generated.
    • No single-center point that controls the system.
    • All information is transparent to all blocks.

Summary

EZPack® is presenting an innovative pre-paid water billing system, that is based on blockchain platform. Such system will provide the water supplier the assurance that customers will be paying for the water they use in advance. Building the system on blockchain platform, will assure the security, integrity and transparency of the system, and therefore, reduces to almost zero, the possibilities of hacking, cheating and stealing.