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Algorand Foundation Invests in Afghanistan’s HesabPay

The Algorand Foundation has made a strategic investment in HesabPay, an interoperable digital payments platform in Afghanistan that uses the Algorand blockchain.

The investment was revealed at the Algorand Impact Summit in New Delhi, where global leaders gathered to explore the potential of blockchain technology in addressing pressing global challenges, the Algorand Foundation said in a Friday (Dec. 1) press release.

HesabPay has emerged as a game-changer in Afghanistan’s financial landscape, according to the press release. Initially developed to tackle the humanitarian aid crisis, the platform has expanded its services to include various transactions such as buying airtime, paying electric bills, and sending digital funds to other users.

Organizations like the World Food Programme have utilized HesabPay to directly transfer funds to beneficiaries in Afghanistan, facilitating over 51,000 humanitarian cash transfers and enabling the payment of more than 1.3 million electricity bills, the release said.

HesabPay has proven to be especially important because 85% of Afghanistan’s adult population remains unbanked, the release said, citing data from the World Bank. Over 98% of funds digitally transferred through HesabPay were spent on local purchases, leading to improved nutrition and a reduction in skipped meals among recipients, the London School of Economics (LSE) found.

“It is only fitting that we announced this investment at the Algorand Impact Summit, demonstrating how blockchain can serve as an efficient, reliable, and transparent solution for the global unbanked,” Matt Keller, head of impact and inclusion at Algorand Foundation, said in the release.

In addition to the investment in HesabPay, Algorand also announced partnerships with Mann Deshi, the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the Impact Summit.

The Algorand Foundation, responsible for the Algorand blockchain, is dedicated to ensuring sound monetary supply economics, decentralized governance and a thriving open-source ecosystem, according to the press release. Algorand enables transactions at the speed of traditional finance, with immediate finality and near-zero transaction costs.

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that most blockchain transactions are completed in minutes rather than hours or even days and can provide assurances against error or fraud.

This added speed becomes particularly important for cross-border transactions, according to the “Blockchain Payments Tracker®,” a PYMNTS and Algorand collaboration.