DUBAI Feb 27 Afghan telecoms operator
Roshan has teamed up with Western Union Co to enable
subscribers to receive remittances from abroad on their mobile
phones, a joint statement said.
About 1.2 million of Roshan's 5.8 million mobile subscribers
are already registered with its mobile payment portal, M-Paisa,
which was developed by Vodafone.
Roshan - 51 percent owned by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic
Development, 36.75 percent by Cable & Wireless Communications
Plc and 12.25 percent by Swedish group TeliaSonera
- estimates about 97 percent on Afghanistan's
population do not have access to traditional financial services.
M-Paisa is a virtual bank account embedded into a SIM card
that is accessed via a password and many users now receive their
salary via SMS.
"It's like an ATM card," Altaf Ladak, Roshan chief operating
officer, told Reuters.
"A lot of people, such as policemen, may be working in one
area, but their family is somewhere else. Now they can transfer
their money directly.
"What drove us to do M-Paisa was the social angle, helping
the country, which had a lack of infrastructure, and people who
don't trust the banking system who are now getting used to this
for salaries and payments."
Last week, Roshan told Reuters it expects to maintain
double-digit revenue growth for at least the next two years as
demand for data among the country's young and increasingly
urbanised population surges.
(Reporting by Matt Smith; editing by Firouz Sedarat)