The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has released new open-source software for the unbanked that utilizes technology developed by distributed ledger startup Ripple.
Announced today, Mojaloop is aimed at providing an interoperability layer between financial institutions, payment providers and other firms that offer such services to the poor and unbanked. Ripple's Interledger protocol, which is used to transact between different financial networks, is being used to help accomplish that goal.
In addition to Ripple, three other financial technology firms participated in the development of the software. The app came out of the group's Level One Project, an umbrella initiative for its work with the unbanked poor that has seen it explore technologies like blockchain.
The Gates Foundation has been weighing applications of the tech since as early as 2015, including its use as a way to bridge disconnected financial systems.
"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," Kosta Peric, the foundation's deputy director of financial Services for the poor, said in a statement.
In addition to the direct work on Mojaloop, the project also saw four other mobile phone technology providers – Ericsson, Huawei, Mahindra Comviva and Telepin – develop a open API to speed up the pace of integrations.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.
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