Telecom Lead Asia: Afghanistan mobile operator Roshan and
Western Union, a global payment services provider, have launched the Western
Union Mobile Money Transfer service in Afghanistan.
The mobile payment service enables Roshan’s M-Paisa users
to receive money from abroad. Roshan became the first company in Afghanistan to
launch mobile payment service in 2008.
M-Paisa users in Afghanistan can receive Western Union
Mobile Money Transfer transactions directly into their mobile wallet accounts
from families, in particular from countries with the largest population of
Afghans living abroad, like UAE, Germany and Canada.
The launch of this service is another step to making
financial inclusion a reality for the almost 97 percent of Afghans who do not
have access to traditional financial services, and is a continued demonstration
of our mission to support economic development and empowerment throughout
Afghanistan,” said Karim Khoja, chief executive officer, Roshan.
Roshan launched M-Paisa using technology from Vodafone.
Since the launch of the mobile money service in November 2008, M-Paisa has over
1 million customers enabled to receive their salaries, pay bills, receive and
repay microfinance loans, send and receive money and purchase airtime directly
from their Roshan phone.
Western Union’s Mobile Money Transfer service is
available in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Canada, Kenya, Madagascar,
Malaysia, Paraguay, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and the U.S.
Western Union also has numerous agreements with other
mobile operators and banks to introduce the service in the future.
Roshan has nearly 6 million active mobile subscribers and
a network that covers over 230 cities and towns in all of the country’s 34 provinces.
Owned in part by Monaco Telecom International (MTI) and
TeliaSonera, Roshan has invested over $500 million in Afghanistan.