Mobile payments try to take root in Afghanistan
- February 25, 2011
- Bill Maurer, anthropology professor and chair and IMTFI director, and Jan Chipchase, IMTFI researcher, are featured in Technology Review February 25, 2011
From Technology Review:
When someone in a far-flung rural mountain village in Afghanistan wants to transfer money to family in another part of the country, there are few conventional banking options. A new text-based payment service, backed by the country's banks and telecom providers, now offers a simpler, more convenient alternative.In 2008, telecommunications company Vodafone and Roshan, an Afghan telecom provider, teamed up to launch a mobile-phone payroll service called M-Paisa for the Afghan National Police. Now M-Paisa has been expanded so that anyone with a mobile phone and an M-Paisa account can transfer money across the country for a small fee. The consultancy Frog Design was commissioned to study the implementation of the M-Paisa payment system in Afghanistan. Jan Chipchase, executive creative director of global insights at Frog Design, presented details of the work during a keynote presentation at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on February 17..."The elephant in the room, of course, is war," says Bill Maurer, director of the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at the University of California in Irvine, which funded the study.
For the full story, please visit http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/32435/?mod=chfeatured&a=f.