For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN- Teachers from Aisha-i-Durani High School in Kabul now know how easy it is to access their salary accounts with the use of a mobile phone. They recently received a live demonstration of the mobile money service provided by Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) in partnership with Maiwand Bank.
During the March 19 event at the school premises, some 90 teachers were shown this innovative mobile money system, which makes receiving their monthly salary safe, transparent, and convenient. Teachers registered for the mobile money service with AWCC and they each opened a salary account with Maiwand Bank. At the registration, teachers were given free AWCC SIM cards preloaded with AFA 500 credits (roughly $10 USD). They tested their new mobile money wallet by using it to “pay” for their lunch, which simulated how the system will work when they do actual commercial transactions with local merchants.
The mobile salary disbursement program is an initiative of the Association of Mobile Money Operators in Afghanistan (AMMOA), with the support of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance and USAID. Afghanistan’s major mobile network operators have partnered with banks with the aim of disbursing salaries to more than 30,000 teachers in about 200 schools across Afghanistan by year 2014.
The pilot launch was undertaken by AWCC in tandem with Maiwand Bank. The other partnerships are Etisalat with Afghan United Bank, MTN with New Kabul Bank, and Roshan M-Paisa with Azizi Bank. Based on the pilot’s success, the program will scale up to offer mobile money enabled salary payments for some 800,000 Afghan government employees nationwide.
The mobile money initiative in Afghanistan underscores the importance of mobile money in improving government service delivery, especially to public school teachers. The teacher-salary-payment pilot also highlights the Government of Afghanistan’s commitment to the Better-Than-Cash alliance, of which it is a member.
To accelerate the replacement of cash with inclusive electronic payments, USAID created the Better Than Cash Alliance, a group of countries and private companies all over the world committed to promoting mobile money. Afghanistan is still a country dominated by a cash economy but almost all Afghans now have cell phones. The near-ubiquity of mobile phone coverage offers a tantalizing opportunity to connect millions of Afghans to the economy and move both public and private sector payments into efficient, transparent “better-than-cash” channels.
Last updated: December 10, 2013