BARCELONA, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of December 31, 2011, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 485,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2011, The Western Union Company completed 226 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $81 billion of principal between consumers, and 425 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.
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.