Once upon a time, text messaging systems didn’t interoperate. But when they did, usage skyrocketed. Many of the world’s mobile money payment systems still operate within that old “walled garden” model, limiting the ability of citizens in areas like Southern Africa to send money home to family, pay utility bills, and, most important, enjoy the benefits of an national economy that is payments enabled.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sees today’s limited interconnection of payment systems as a high barrier to the poor’s participation in that payment enabled economy. Fortunately, those barriers are beginning to come down.
In this Payments on Fire podcast, Kosta Peric, Deputy Director of Financial Services for the Poor at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joins George in discussing Mojaloop, the foundation’s open source software initiative that provides interconnection capability between disparate payment systems. Informed by the foundation’s Level One Project, the goal is to encourage a lower cost deployment of this critical payments infrastructure as well as the active collaboration among the operators of mobile money services, financial institutions, each country’s central bank, and national regulators.
Listen for a view into how payments systems can improve the health and well being of millions of people as well as the nation’s they inhabit. This is very cool and important work.