Mobile Salary Payments in Afghanistan: Policy Implications and Lessons Learned

Working Paper
Published on 1 November 2013


This policy paper by Blumenstock, Callen and Ghani (2013) shows, using a randomized controlled trial with a large Afghan firm, that paying salaries using mobile money instead of physical cash produces significant cost savings for the employer, boosts demand for the services of the mobile network operator, and increases employees’ propensity to save part of their incomes. The authors also discuss possible policy implications for stakeholders interested in expanding the effectiveness of mobile salary payments, including the need to prioritize roll-out in less remote areas, expand two-­way payment flows such as bill payments and vendor payments, and develop value-added functions to provide employers and third-­party funders with enhanced auditing capabilities.