Introducing the 2024 Digital Money Blog Series

Julaire Hall on stage at Interledger Summit

Introducing the 2024 Digital Money Blog Series

Written by Julaire Hall

I’m excited to share with you that I’ll be doing a blog series! YAY! I recently completed the Certificate in Digital Money course and woah, I learned so much from interacting with participants from all over the world. I am so delighted to share what I learned with you all, here.

In this bi-monthly Digital Money Blog Series, the hope is to spark conversations and welcome commentary from members within the Interledger Foundation ecosystem on themes, including but not limited to, digital money, financial inclusion, instant payment systems, and topical matters relating to digital financial services. I’m sure some of these topics are of interest to you.

You can follow the ILF Community Space to engage with this and future blog posts. You can also follow my page to be notified whenever a new blog is posted. So, take this as your formal invitation to follow along, every other Tuesday, as we take a look into Digital Money Being a Driver of Financial Inclusion.

Before I get into it, I’d like to share with you this article by Xen Baynham-Herd titled, “How the film ‘The Beach’ explains the power of Digital Money”. Let’s look beyond Leonardo DiCaprio’s stunning performance (if you've watched the movie) and contextualize how the analogy explains the evolution of a monetary system and how digital money is valuable, bringing access to people irrespective of where they are.

While many people think and can agree that digital money has emerged as a powerful enabler in reaching the previously excluded, underrepresented, and underserved communities; some may even say Digital Money is Better. A stance that can be argued along the lines of convenience, traceability, privacy, and accessibility.

At our Grantee Workshop (held at the ILP Summit 2023), ILF’s Chief Program Officer, Chris Lawrence, did a Human Spectrogram exercise where he asked the participants their stance on the imminence of a cashless society and whether or not we should embrace it. Whilst for the most part, the majority agreed that a cashless society is imminent; some persons had reservations about its acceptance citing infrastructural readiness in some locales, knowledge of how to use the available digital solutions, and cultural preferences, just to name a few, as some of the challenges that can inhibit its wide acceptance.

With the advent of technology and its integration with finance, there has been an even greater push to leverage emerging technologies to innovate the financial ecosystem to be able to access and reach new locales. Across the globe, we’ve seen innovative growth in the Fintech space. Governments are revamping and prioritizing regulations that will enable digital financial services, and trailblazers and forward thinkers are innovating robust mobile solutions that have seen significant adoption and inclusivity. Our very own Interledger Foundation is driving equity and inclusion within a global interoperable payments network aiming to increase access to digital financial services for the 1.4 billion people currently excluded.

In this series, we will explore insights into what countries are doing and take a look at some of the fastest-growing markets for financial inclusion like India. We'll also explore the adoption of mobile banking in countries like Kenya and of course, liberal regulations enabling instant payment systems in countries like Brazil. Our blogs wouldn’t be complete without highlighting the great work of our grantees across the globe who are enabling access and bringing solutions to a wider audience previously excluded from such. So stay tuned, who knows, your project/initiative might just be the highlight in the discourse.

A lecturer once asked me “Who’s your champion that’s driving financial inclusion in your country? Despite the question being very specific, I had to use the opportunity to highlight the Interledger Foundation and the work we are doing to influence social change globally by enabling web-based payment infrastructures that will allow greater global financial inclusion through our technology and grant funding.

So, today’s question to you is, Who’s your champion driving financial inclusion in your country?

(Feel free to comment on the blog post here)

Julaire Hall

Julaire is a highly accomplished project and program management professional with 10+ years of extensive experience in planning, executing, and overseeing the successful delivery of programs in government and the global services sector.