Crowdsourcing can be one of the best ways to promote mobile money services in a country. USAID’s Financial Access for Investing in the Development of Afghanistan (FAIDA) project came up with an innovative crowdsourcing contest to tap into youth to explore new ideas and applications for mobile money use cases. In April 2012, USAID and the Association of Mobile Money Operators of Afghanistan announced the innovative competition at an event in Kabul.
More than 5,000 applicants proposed ideas for mobile money applications. These ideas ranged from the payment of university tuition fees, traffic and passport fees, to applications for grocery shopping and purchasing construction materials, handicrafts, and other products.
In July of this year, eight innovative Afghan university students were selected as the winners of the contest in Kabul.
One winner from Nangarhar Province, Mr. Azizullah, suggested using mobile money in construction and engineering. He noted the challenges that businesses face when buying equipment and materials in remote areas. Using mobile money would save countless hours traveling to banks in distant districts and would reduce the risks of carrying cash.
A winner in the government category, Rahima Rahmani, recommended using mobile money to issue and pay taxes. She thinks it would greatly reduce corruption, as taxpayers would not be misled and would be able to trust that the taxes they pay are fair and accurate.
It will be interesting to track the progress of these new proposed mobile money applications over the coming months.
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