Western Union and Roshan bring mobile money transfer to Afghanistan

Source: Western Union

Western Union (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, and Roshan, Afghanistan's leading total communications provider, today announced that they will introduce the Western Union Mobile Money Transfer service in Afghanistan.

The agreement will add international remittances to the M-Paisa service. Roshan was one of the first mobile operators in the world to introduce M-Paisa, which is part of the Vodafone mobile money family, in November 2008.

Through M-Paisa, 1.2 million registered customers can receive their salaries, pay bills, receive and repay microfinance loans, send and receive money and purchase airtime directly from their mobile phones. With the introduction of the new service, M-Paisa customers will be able to receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions from around the world directly in their mobile wallet accounts.

"Seventy percent of the Afghan population lives in rural areas, far from traditional urban banking centers," said Diane Scott, Chief Marketing Officer and President, Western Union Ventures. "At the same time, Afghanistan is one of the fastest-growing mobile markets in the world. Roshan subscribers are already paying bills and receiving their salaries with their M-Paisa mobile wallets and want the convenience of receiving remittances with their mobile phones. We're honored to partner with Roshan to deliver this value-added service."

"We are excited to partner with Western Union to offer the quick and convenient transfer of funds from anywhere in the world to Afghanistan through M-Paisa, the country's first and only licensed mobile money service," said Karim Khoja, Chief Executive Officer, Roshan. "Together, Roshan and Western Union are enabling distant families to be connected and, for the first time, are making financial inclusion a reality for the almost 97 percent of Afghans who do not have access to traditional financial services. This agreement demonstrates our mission to support economic development and empowerment throughout Afghanistan."

Western Union offers its Mobile Money Transfer service in Bangladesh, Canada, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Tanzania and the U.S. Western Union also has numerous agreements with other mobile operators and banks to introduce the service in the future.

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