October 13, 2013 (Kabul, Afghanistan) – Roshan, Afghanistan’s leading communications provider, today announced a partnership with Afghan Post that will enable Afghans to access M-Paisa mobile banking services in post offices. The initiative will commence with a six-month pilot program, making services available at 19 post offices throughout Kabul. The post offices will become authorized M-Paisa agents, expanding the network of agents to nearly 1,000 registered agents throughout Afghanistan. While it is the first partnership with Afghan Post, it is yet another example of Roshan’s leadership in the Afghan market, especially with mobile commerce.
Roshan customers will now be able to access the full suite of M-Paisa services including registration, deposits, withdrawals, bill payments and more at all participating post offices. Upon completion of the pilot, the partnership will expand to include more than 400 post offices throughout Afghanistan. Roshan’s progress in expanding M-Paisa services through strategic partnerships reflects its commitment to providing Afghans across the country, most of whom are unbanked, with access to safe, reliable and convenient mobile banking services.
As a key component of the partnership, Roshan has pledged to fund improvements to the 19 post offices involved in the pilot. These improvements include the installation of Public Call Office handsets in each branch, which will allow Afghans access to low-cost public telephone services. This will add to the more than 11,000 Public Call Offices Roshan currently operates throughout Afghanistan.
“The ability for Afghans in every part of the country to get paid on time and in full, and to make payments is absolutely critical for the development of Afghanistan’s economy. M-Paisa fulfills this crucial need in a cost-effective, secure and convenient way,” said Karim Khoja, Chief Executive Officer, Roshan. “We are delighted to collaborate with the Afghan Post and the Afghan government to help bring these fundamental services to so many Afghans.”
With over 1.2 million registered users and over $4 million in salary payments transferred each month, M-Paisa is the largest m-commerce provider in Afghanistan and plays a vital role in the country’s financial infrastructure. Since M-Paisa’s pioneering launch in 2008, it has expanded to provide a wide range of services and payment options, including salary payments to the Afghanistan National Police, money transfers via Western Union, merchant payments, bill payments, and humanitarian payments from organizations such as the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Department for International Development.
Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan's leading total communications provider with nearly six million active subscribers and a network that covers over 240 cities and towns 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 nine years ago, Roshan has invested over $550 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 more than 1,200 people, 20 percent of whom are women, and provides indirect employment to more than 30,000 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.
Introduced by Roshan in 2008 in partnership with Vodafone, M-Paisa is Afghanistan’s first mobile money transfer service, providing service to 97 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 Short Message Service (SMS) 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 70 percent of the population is illiterate. M-Paisa relies on Roshan’s robust mobile network, which spans across more than 240 cities and towns in all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. This allows for the extension of financial services to the mass unbanked population.
Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications
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