Afghanistan to distribute
govt salaries with biometrics
16 March 2015 11:57 GMT

Only 10 percent of the country’s citizens have access to banks.

Domestic telecoms firm the Afghan Wireless Communication Company has announced that it will use the biometrics-backed MyMoney mobile payments service for government salaries.

Partially funded by USAID, the project will operate under a joint strategic partnership between New Kabul Bank and Maiwand Bank to work with the Government of Afghanistan's Ministry of Finance.

AWCC said in a statement that this mobile payments initiative is part of a broader effort to empower citizens with alternatives to cash, which reduce corruption, improve governance and increase financial and economic security.

"Improving payroll distribution to government employees in districts and villages is a big challenge for the government," said Mohammad Aqa Kohistani, Afghanistan's Director General for Treasury.  "This is an important initiative toward creating a modern and efficient digital payment network that uses an identification system to promote ease of transactions and help foster broad-based economic growth."

Banking in Afghanistan remains difficult, as only 10 percent of the country’s citizens have access to banks.

AWCC has an estimated 4.4 million mobile subscribers or 22.1 % market share. It has partnered with Maiwand bank on POS terminals with biometric (thumb and photo) capabilities.