July 11, 2016 – (Kabul, Afghanistan) - Roshan’s M-Paisa, Afghanistan’s leading M-Commerce provider, has been awarded the contract to distribute stipend payments to 9,500 female interns of the Promote-Women in Economy (WIE) program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Aid (USAID). The contract was awarded through the Promote-WIE implementing partner Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI).
Roshan was the first company to launch a mobile money solution in Afghanistan in 2008. One of the most successful applications used by customers of M-Paisa is to pay salaries all over the country in a safe, transparent and more efficient way. Today, there are over 40 companies and organizations that are using M-Paisa to pay employee salaries nationwide. M-Paisa currently has over 100,000 active subscribers.
“When we launched M-Paisa, we wanted to bring in the latest technology to foster financial inclusion and to provide Afghans with a solution that supports economic development. We are now able to take that to the next level and bring access to financial services and banking,” said Karim Khoja, CEO of Roshan. “M-Paisa provides the most transparent and effective payment options for businesses, organizations and government agencies to disburse compensation to recipients. We are planning to further expand and grow M-Paisa through similar partnerships.”
Since its launch, M-Paisa has introduced many innovative features to help companies, government agencies and the Afghan public, conduct their financial transactions more efficiently. One of the recent features is electricity bill payment, allowing M-Paisa customers to save time and money and have the ability to pay their electricity bill from the convenience of their mobile phones and security of their homes.
Promote is USAID's largest women’s empowerment program globally that advances opportunities for Afghan women who can become political, private sector, and civil society leaders. Building upon existing and previous programs for women and girls, Promote is a five-year program targeting the education, promotion, and training of a new generation of Afghan women, aged 18-30. With the goal of increasing women’s contributions to Afghanistan’s development, Promote strengthens women’s rights groups, boosts female participation in the economy, increases the number of women in decision making positions within the Afghan government, and helps women gain business and management skills.
Introduced by Roshan in 2008, M-Paisa is Afghanistan’s first mobile money transfer service, providing service to 90 percent of the unbanked population in the country. M-Paisa offers safe, secure and fast access to a range of financial services including receipt and payment of microfinance loans, peer-to-peer fund transfer, international money transfer, salary disbursement, purchase of airtime, and bill payments. The service facilitates the transfer of funds using a mobile phone through Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The IVR based menu is available to customers in Dari, Pashto and English, an important feature in Afghanistan where most of the population is still illiterate. M-Paisa relies on Roshan’s robust mobile network, which spans across more than 287 districts, cities and towns in all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. This allows for the extension of financial services to the mass unbanked population.
With more than $17 billion spent on development programs in Afghanistan since 2002, USAID provides the largest bilateral civilian assistance program to Afghanistan. USAID partners with the government and people of Afghanistan to ensure economic growth led by the country’s private sector, establish a democratic and capable state governed by the rule of law, and provide basic health and education services for all Afghans.
Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan's leading total communications provider with over 6.5 million active subscribers and a network that covers over 287 districts and cities in all of the country's 34 provinces.
Roshan is a true Afghanistan success story, serving as a catalyst for economic growth and actively contributing to the country’s long-term development. Since its inception in 2003, Roshan has invested over $700 million in Afghanistan and is the country’s single largest investor and taxpayer, contributing approximately five percent of the Afghan government's overall domestic revenue. Roshan directly employs around 900 people, 20 percent of whom are women, and provides indirect employment to more than 35,000 people.
Roshan is deeply committed to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a major shareholder of Roshan and promotes private initiatives and building economically sound enterprises in the developing world. Also owned in part by Monaco Telecom International (MTI) and TeliaSonera, Roshan brings international expertise to the country and is committed to the highest standards of network quality and coverage for the people of Afghanistan.
To learn more about Roshan and M-Paisa visit http://www.roshan.af or http://www.facebook.com/RoshanConnects