The Financial Access for Investing in the Development of Afghanistan (FAIDA) program is helping the Afghan Government and the private sector develop a robust financial sector. FAIDA seeks to build the capacity of Afghan institutions to deliver finance, as well as develop a financial legal framework and market infrastructure that will foster economic growth and generate employment opportunities. FAIDA also directly assists Afghan women entrepreneurs by providing targeted business development, training, and mobile money support.
Mobile money is a “disruptive technology,” named as such because of its power to transform traditional economic development activities around the world. In Afghanistan, where less than 10 percent of the population has a bank account, but nearly 70 percent use mobile phones, USAID has a unique opportunity to increase access to financial services for the unbanked majority and build transparency into the financial system through the use of mobile money. With USAID support, mobile money is expected to increase access to efficient, transparent and low-cost alternatives to cash, while also rooting out corruption, improving governance, and undercutting financial threats to security. Mobile money has yet to achieve a sustainable scale in Afghanistan, but it shows much potential. For this reason, USAID is working closely with our local public and private partners to help educate consumers and explore ways to scale this promising technology. In 2013, USAID will expand its financial work to include all forms of electronic payment, including credit cards. This expansion will be implemented in partnership with the “Better Than Cash Alliance,” of which USAID is a founding member. Afghanistan will be the fifth country to join the alliance, which works to reduce cash payments for government salaries and services.
Last updated: September 03, 2013