The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a partnership with Ripple and Coil in an attempt to further financial inclusion amongst societies’ “poorest”

The Foundation’s partnership will help to further develop Mojaloop, an open source network for creating payment platforms, previously released a year ago in October 2017. The Gates Foundation’s “Financial Services for the Poor” programme prioritizes “aims to expand the availability of affordable and reliable financial services that serve the needs of all, including the poorest.” A foundation statement clarifies its aims as:

“…helping to drive the development of digital payment systems that can help spread use of digital financial services quickly, advancing gender equality to ensure women share in the benefits of financial inclusion and supporting the development of national and regional strategies that accelerate progress for the poor and provide exemplary models.”

Mojaloop was built in collaboration with Ripple and four other FinTech partners, Dwolla, Software Group, ModusBox, and Crosslake Technologies, and is designed to support different kinds of providers to link up their services and offer low-cost financial services in new markets.

Coil came on board very quickly giving their support to the foundation’s latest project.

According to the foundation, such “pro-poor payment systems” need clear attributes as they need to be able to reach the poorest neighbourhoods and be easily understood. Also, users’ money needs to be safe from cybercrime and readily available. Another important factor is that delivery needs to be free and there must be evident advantages over using cash. Mojaloops documentation regarding the Ripple invented Interledger Protocol (ILP) states that it is:

“…a suite of protocol definitions and reference implementations that define a standard way to connect any number of disparate payment systems together into one interconnected network”

In simple terms, such a system can lower costs of financial services and open up payment infrastructures to companies outside of traditional banking, hence advancing the inclusion of those who are on the fringes of banking due to financial insecurity.

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