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    Demand for mobile credit machines on the rise

    KABUL (PAN): Amid increasing public demand for mobile credit machines in the capital Kabul, officials say the service will be expanded nationwide over next two years.

    The transactions via cell phone, a $2 million (102 million afghanis) project, were introduced last year by the Marikh Telecommunication Company in Kabul. So far the firm has installed 150 mobile credit machines in different parts of the city.

    Hafizullah, a resident of Macro Ryan locality, who was adding credit to his cell through the machine, said it was an easy and fast way of payments. "Previously, we would purchase credit cards that took a lot of time to load. Now I can easily add credit to my phone anytime I want."

    Tawab, a shopkeeper in Khair Khana neighbourhood, frequently uses mobile credit machines since the service was launched. "I wanted to call someone last night, but I was out of credit.

    “On reaching the bazaar, I found all shops shut. Fortunately, I found a credit card machine in a street close to our home," he said, adding his problem was resolved immediately.

    Fahim, a mobile credit card dealer in the upscale Shahr-i-Naw area, said though the service had badly affected his business, yet he was happy that the people had been granted the facility.

    An official of the Marikh Telecommunications Company, Abdul Shakoor, told Pajhwok Afghan News the machines remained operational 24 hours in the capital.

    "Over coming months, Kabul residents will be able to pay water and electricity bills through the machines," he said, adding in the near future, the machines would also facilitate money transfers and purchase of air tickets.

    Afghanistan's Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (ATRA) deputy head, Khair Mohammad Faizi, called the service a step forward in becoming familiar with advanced telecom technology. He hoped the facility would help attract foreign investments.

    mm/ma/mud