August 19, 2013 (Kabul, Afghanistan) – Roshan, Afghanistan's leading total communications provider, announced that its mobile money service, M-Paisa, received the prestigious “Sustainability Commercialized” award at the Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Awards, recently held in London. The award recognizes Roshan’s incorporation of responsible business strategy and sustainable thinking into the company’s commercial products and services. M-Paisa, Afghanistan’s first mobile money service, was launched by Roshan in 2008, pioneering mobile commerce for the people of Afghanistan and bringing with it access to economic opportunity and financial inclusion.
Prior to M-Paisa’s launch, 97 percent of Afghans were unbanked, both due to lack of access to physical banking locations and distrust of Afghanistan’s banking sector. Since that time, more than 1.2 million Afghans have started banking with M-Paisa as Roshan has introduced a more secure, transparent and convenient means to distribute and receive salary payments, pay bills, purchase items, and send money to family members in Afghanistan and abroad.
“We are delighted that the Ethical Corporation has chosen to honor Roshan and M-Paisa with the Sustainabiliy Commercialized Award,” said Karim Khoja, Roshan Chief Executive Officer. “Using innovative technologies and services to drive social and economic development in Afghanistan has been one of Roshan’s primary goals since its inception in 2003. M-Paisa, in particular, is a striking example of how our technology has not only increased Afghans’ access to a number of vital services, but has also had a positive effect on the coutry’s economic development.”
With over 1.2 million registered users and over $4 million in salary payments transferred each month, M-Paisa plays a vital role in Afghanistan’s financial infrastructure. Since M-Paisa’s launch in 2008, M-Paisa’s services have expanded significantly to include salary payments to the Afghan National Police, international money transfers via Western Union, bill payments to service providers such as Herat Cable Network, and humanitarian payments by not for profit organizations, including the Norwegian Refugee Council.
To learn more about the Responsible Business Awards visit http://events.ethicalcorp.com/awards/index.php
Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Corp) 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 ten 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, 19 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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