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Etisalat launches mHawala Mobile Financial Services in Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan November 30, 2011 - Etisalat Afghanistan, the fastest growing cellular operator in Afghanistan today announced the launch of mHawala mobile financial services during a ceremony held in Kabul.

Etisalat Afghanistan is the first Mobile Network Operator in Afghanistan to offer this comprehensive range of Mobile Financial Services for its customers in Afghanistan.

Etisalat Afghanistan’s mHawala is an innovative mobile financial services solution that will enable Etisalat Afghanistan’s customers to purchase airtime directly from their handsets, send money from their mobile phones to family and friends, pay their bills via their mobile phones, purchase goods and services from shops and or retail outlets and deposit or withdraw cash from Etisalat authorised mHawala distributors or Etisalat partner banks.

mHawala Mobile Accounts, which are like normal bank accounts, can be opened at any Etisalat store or authorised Etisalat mHawala Distributor. The service is available for existing and new Etisalat Afghanistan customers.

Mohamed El Mugtaba Babiker, Chief Financial Officer Etisalat Afghanistan, Dr. Ali Asgharzadeh, Chief Commercial Officer (Enterprise) Etisalat Afghanistan, Government officials, members of Afghanistan business community, Etisalat Afghanistan management attended the launch ceremony.

Etisalat Afghanistan CEO, Ahmad Alhosani while speaking about this new offer by the company said “Etisalat Afghanistan is proud to be leading the way in empowering the Afghan people by giving them access to financial products via their mobile phones. The launch of mHawala will offer customers fast, convenient, safe and affordable access to financial services. The service aims to save time, and is both simple to use and always available - anywhere, anytime. Our ultimate goal is to allow all Afghans access to basic and advanced services by leveraging on Etisalat Afghanistan’s world class national infrastructure.”

Etisalat Afghanistan also announced today an agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Through this partnership, USAID will support bill payment solutions to Etisalat Afghanistan’s customers using the mHawala service.

Etisalat’s mobile financial services enable consumers to conduct financial transactions electronically using a mobile phone. ‘Mobile Money’ is now poised to become a powerful tool for financial inclusion and has the ability to meet the needs of customers who previously could not access traditional financial services. They would be forced to rely upon less safe, less reliable and more costly alternatives.

International studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between having access to financial services and the stimulation of economic growth within countries. This effort by Etisalat Afghanistan to launch their mHawala service is a major leap to bring about financial inclusion for Afghans and the stimulation of economic growth for Afghanistan.

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