Case Study

Making Digital Payments Affordable and Simple for Everyone, Everywhere

The Mojaloop Foundation is a charitable nonprofit with a vision of universal financial inclusion. Its mission is to enable developing countries to design digital financial services that are accessible and inclusive to all.

Payments Working Together

The Mojaloop Foundation is a charitable nonprofit with a vision of universal financial inclusion. Its mission is to enable developing countries to design digital financial services that are accessible and inclusive to all. 

The Foundation’s Mojaloop open source software is a blueprint for how to help organizations build interoperable, real-time payment systems that enable seamless, affordable financial services between individual users, banks, government entities, merchants, mobile network operators, service providers and technology companies.

Interoperability is the Challenge

While mobile money services exist in nearly 100 countries, 1.7 billion people still lack access to digital financial services, despite most owning a mobile phone, according to the World Bank's Global Findex. Increasing access to digital financial services and financial tools is critical to accelerating the rate at which the financially excluded move into the formal financial system, especially in developing economies.

The primary challenge is that it can be expensive and complex to build interoperable systems that are inclusive to all. The result is that many remain unbanked because of the resulting high transaction fees and the requirements to be a customer across multiple banking, mobile and digital payment platforms. 

By providing a model for how to simplify and reduce the cost of designing payment interoperability, countries can work with the banks, and mobile money and digital payment providers can develop real-time payment systems that meet the digital financial services needs of emerging markets and the unbanked. 

Building on the Interledger Protocol 

Built upon the Interledger protocol, Mojaloop is an open source platform for digital payments, enabling payments between multiple MNOs, commercial banks, or a central bank to be settled, even though they may be on different networks.

The Interledger protocol defines a set of rules that enables a network of computers to send 'packets' of value across independent payment networks, in a similar way to how the internet routes packets of information. Interledger’s open architecture and minimal protocol enable interoperability for any currency transfer system, with low costs and simple implementation.

"Mojaloop has taken a lot of the key concepts from Interledger and is applying them to simplify digital payments for the underserved," said Adrian Hope-Bailie, Global Head of Interledger at Coil, Interledger Foundation member and Mojaloop Foundation Member. "Interledger, like Mojaloop, is completely agnostic to how digital money actually moves between participants, which makes it the perfect tool to enable seamless money transfers across all networks, geographies and currencies.” 

The Mojaloop Foundation is proud of the advances it’s making with the help of Interledger. The Bank of Tanzania is in the process of implementing Mojaloop to serve Tanzanian citizens, and Mowali, a joint venture between mobile network operators Orange and MTN, is an implementation of Mojaloop that has recently gone live. Its services are being phased in across Africa.

“Mojaloop is dedicated to advancing the lives of the underserved by enabling seamless digital financial transactions without the restrictive hurdles that have been barriers in the past,” said Paula Hunter, Executive Director, Mojaloop Foundation. “With the help of Interledger, we are able to positively impact a population that has historically been excluded from formal financial systems by giving them the ability to pay and receive payment directly from a simple mobile phone, which opens up huge opportunities.” 

Financial Inclusion Drives Growth

If these solutions become widely adopted, interoperable digital financial services could provide many more people with access to important financial tools. Enabling people to use financial services helps them take advantage of opportunities and buffers them from risk, driving economic growth. 

Boosting financial inclusion could add $3.7 trillion to emerging countries' GDP by 2025, an increase of 6 percent 'above business as usual,’ according to McKinsey Global Institute. Initiatives such as Mojaloop and Interledger can play a vital role in making this a reality.

 

 

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