The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has launched the Mojaloop open-source payments software to provide an interoperability layer between financial institutions, payment providers, and other companies offering payment services to the poor and unbanked people around the world.
The mobile payments system employs the Interledger technology that was developed by distributed ledger technology (DLT) startup Ripple.
According to the foundation’s deputy director of financial services for the poor, Kosta Peric, the new software is aimed at resolving the issues with respect to the interoperability of digital payments. He also issued an invitation to players in the banking and payments industries to test the system.
"Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome. With Mojaloop, our technology partners have finally achieved a solution that can apply to any service, and we invite banks and the payments industry to explore and test this tool.”
Aside from Ripple, the foundation was also supported by several financial technology companies in developing the software. The application was developed under the group’s Level One Project, which is an umbrella program for the foundation’s work with the unbanked, poor people that allowed it to explore disruptive technologies such as Blockchain.
Under the project, several mobile phone technology providers, namely, Huawei, Ericsson, Mahindra Comviva, and Telepin, have contributed to the development of an open application programming interface (API) to speed the pace of integrations of digital payments services providers.
The Gates Foundation’s works on Blockchain
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been exploring ways to use the Blockchain technology under the Level One Project since 2015. Among the initiatives is the possible use of the technology to bridge or link the disconnected financial systems.