Kapisa: registration for Afghan Local Police mobile money pilot program complete

Kapisa: registration for Afghan Local Police mobile money pilot program complete Story and photo by Lt.j.g. Charity Edgar
31 Aug 2015
Story and photo by Lt.j.g. Charity Edgar

KABUL, Afghanistan (Aug. 31, 2015) — Just a few weeks after its roll out, the mobile money pilot program registration in Kapisa for Afghan Local Police is complete; bringing a safer, transparent payment process to the province—and plans to expand throughout Afghanistan.

Mohammad Aqa Kohistani, Director General Treasury, Ministry of Finance, attended the historic program kick-off earlier this month, which jumpstarted the push for 100 percent electronic funds transfer capability within Afghanistan’s security institutions, as mandated by President Ashraf Ghani.

"We will introduce mobile banking services, which have been proven to reduce opportunities for leakages,” said Ghani, in his essay Realizing Self-Reliance. Mobile banking not only provides a more reliable method to distribute pay, but also ensures only registered employees receive salaries.

The initiative kicked off in Kapisa because the province had been relying 100 percent on trusted agents for payment. Trusted agents are Ministry of Interior appointed personnel that physically deliver salaries in cash to remote areas where banks are currently unavailable; a position that is highly corruptible and dangerous. EFT is a much safer method for payment than the current practice of using trusted agents, which 59 percent of all Afghan Local Police use.

The mobile money pilot program allows policemen and women to receive salaries through their mobile phones and use cash withdrawals without having to step foot in a traditional bank. Instead, registered users will be able to go to an approved shop in their district or even transfer funds electronically to any other user with a text-based software program installed on their phone. Police received their bank and sim cards as part of the registration.

The Ministry of Finance is managing the mobile money program in conjunction with Afghan Wireless Communications Company and New Kabul Bank, with plans to expand to additional telecom and banking institutions. The Essential Function One Directorate within Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, which encompasses planning, programming budgeting and execution, is providing oversight of the program.

"Mobile money is a transparent payment system that will ensure Afghan police are getting paid — safely,” said Maj. Gen. Todd Semonite, commanding general, CSTC-A. "Expanding EFT is another step toward secure, sustainable funding for all of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. It mitigates corruption and will increase the confidence of our donors.”

After registering 555 policemen for the program in Kapisa, the pilot will now extend to Parwan and Khandahar, with an ultimate goal of expanding to the rest of the Afghan Local Police and Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, meeting Ghani’s goal of 100 percent EFT capability.

About CSTC-A: The Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan enables, trains, advises and assists by providing essential resources in support and continued development of Afghan National Defense Security Forces.
 

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