As a wholly-owned subsidiary of UStronics, Paywast is an award winning social media organization in Afghanistan. As the country’s first mobile-based social networking outlet, Paywast was formally launched on January 31, 2011 in Afghanistan. Since its launch more than two years ago, Paywast has become the largest social networking media outlet in Afghanistan with more than one million users and subscribers, surpassing even Facebook and Twitter.
Paywast is the only technology firm from Afghanistan to have won two outstanding awards from two renowned international competitions for excellence in mobile communication and services. In July 2012, Paywast became the first Afghan technology firm to win the mBillionth Award South Asia for best mobile entertainment and in December 2012 won the Manthan Award South Asia & Asia Pacific 2012 for best performance in the category of “e-business & Enterprises”. That same year Paywast was nominated as a finalist in the California based Mobile Excellence Award 2012 in the category of Best International, competing with multi-billion dollar multi-national firms from all over the world.
To date, Paywast has remained at the forefront of SMS-based social networking technology in Afghanistan allowing a record number of 500,000,000 (five hundred million) SMS messages being sent through its network in 2011 alone. At present, roughly 30 percent of all SMS messages in Afghanistan are processed through Paywast, which captures about one third of all SMS market share in the country. Interestingly, most of Paywast users and subscribers are literates, semi-literates, university students, young professionals, teachers, professors and members of the academic community.
Paywast is designed to help connect people to each other either one-on-one or with multiple friends and peers simultaneously by creating or joining existing groups. These groups allow individuals to freely communicate ideas or experiences. It also provides emergency alerts and tip lines used by public authorities, organizations or independent entities to be shared quickly and efficiently to the subscribers in a country where only less than 5% of citizens have access to the internet but more than 65% of citizens own a mobile phone.