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Roshan launches M-Paisa service

Roshan launches M-Paisa service

Apr 25, 2011 - 17:19

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): A private cellular phone company was allowed on Monday to launch a money transfer service, the first of its kind in Afghanistaninfo-icon, the central bank governor announced.

The Roshan telecom, which started operations in the country in 2003, was issued a permit to operate M-Paisa that facilitates fund transfers through the short message service (SMS) and an interactive voice response (IVR) system.

Da Afghanistan Bank governor branded the service a whole new experiment, benefitting 97 individuals with no access to banking services. It would help government employees receive salaries without any problem. 

Drug smugglers and other criminals could misuse the facility, acknowledged Abdul Qadir Fitrat, who urged the mobile-phone company to take effective steps to deal with such cases.

At the moment, Fitrat said, 30 percent of Afghans had access to banking facilities, which would be extended to insecure and remote parts through different initiatives of the central bank.

The service was launched on a trial basis in two regions three years ago, Roshan Director-General Khwaja Karim told Pajhwok Afghan News. Following the successful trial, the firm has been allowed to formalise the system.

Currently, he said, Roshan had 200,000 M-Paisa subscribers across Afghanistan. Under an expected agreement with the Ministry of Interior, 4,000 policemen in Khost, Badakhshan, Helmand and Uruzgan provinces will collect salaries through phone.

Since its launch in Kenya in March 2007, the system has seen 1.6 million people registering as customers. In Afghanistan, M-Paisa will act as a vehicle for loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments and airtime distribution.


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