Roshan and Western Union launch International Mobile Money Transfer Service in Afghanistan

Roshan, Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider, and Western Union, a leader in global payment services, have today jointly launched the Western Union Mobile Money Transfer service in Afghanistan that enables Roshan’s M-Paisa customers to receive money from abroad. Roshan launched M-Paisa in 2008, and became the first company to bring mobile financial services to the people of Afghanistan.

Now, M-Paisa customers in Afghanistan can receive Western Union Mobile Money Transfer transactions from around the world directly into their mobile wallet accounts from families, in particular from countries with the largest population of Afghans living abroad, like UAE, Germany and Canada.

“To partner with such a recognized global brand such as Western Union is another example of innovation that Roshan brings to Afghanistan,” said Karim Khoja, chief executive officer, Roshan. “Together, Roshan and Western Union are enabling distant families to be connected, and also offering peace of mind for those with relatives in Afghanistan, who have previously struggled to send money back home. The launch of this service is another step to making financial inclusion a reality for the almost 97 percent of Afghans who do not have access to traditional financial services, and is a continued demonstration of our mission to support economic development and empowerment throughout Afghanistan.”

Roshan launched M-Paisa using technology from Vodafone, one of the world’s leading international mobile communications groups. Today, since the launch of the mobile money service in November 2008, M-Paisa has over 1 million customers enabled to receive their salaries, pay bills, receive and repay microfinance loans, send and receive money and purchase airtime directly from their Roshan phone.

Western Union’s Mobile Money Transfer service is available in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Canada, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Paraguay, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and the U.S. Western Union also has numerous agreements with other mobile operators and banks to introduce the service in the future.

About Roshan
Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider with nearly 6 million active subscribers and a network that covers over 230 cities and towns in all of the country’s 34 provinces.

Roshan is a true Afghanistan success story, serving as a catalyst for economic growth and actively contributing to the country’s long-term development. Since its inception eight years ago, Roshan has invested over $500 million in Afghanistan and is the country’s single largest investor and taxpayer, contributing approximately 5% of the Afghan government’s overall domestic revenue. Roshan directly employs more than 1,200 people, 20% of whom are women, and provides indirect employment to more than 30,000 people.

Roshan is deeply committed to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a major shareholder of Roshan and promotes private initiatives and building economically sound enterprises in the developing world. Also owned in part by Monaco Telecom International (MTI) and TeliaSonera, Roshan brings international expertise to the country and is committed to the highest standards of network quality and coverage for the people of Afghanistan.