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Mobile banking sparks a ‘minor revolution’ in DR Congo workforce

• The
 For civil servants working in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the arrival of mobile banking has been just short of a miracle.

Aside from getting paid on time, workers are now receiving what is actually owed to them, circumventing greedy superiors who used to dip into their pay envelopes to “tip” themselves and leave staff with only a fraction of their salaries.

“The first time, they’re surprised” to see what they actually make, Hassan Wazni said, managing director at Sofibanque — one of about a dozen banks offering mobile banking accounts in the conflict-torn Congo.

For the impoverished central African country the size of western Europe, the introduction of the service represents a minor revolution and comes about a year after Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo vowed to end the practice where state workers were paid in cash.

With an average annual revenue of $240 (185 euros) per person, most Congolese had never visited a bank before, let alone had an account.

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