Energy metering and usage monitoring (pre-payment systems)

Does anyone have recommendations of systems which can be used for energy payment systems for community power systems? We are currently working with a re-loadable card system but it would be good to know if there may be better alternatives out there.

In the current system a community operator sells electricity to households via re-loadable cards. The only data which is recorded is the reload frequency and amount.

The system would be used in villages with ~10 households in areas with poor GSM coverage. Cost is a critical factor (current systems are ~15 USD per meter). Ideally the same system could be used to gather usage data.

Are there any low cost systems on the market which use different comms protocols to GSM (eg LoRa)?

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