Mojaloop: Dwolla partners with Gates Foundation to create payments system

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released an open-source software Monday to create payment platforms that will provide unbanked people around the world with access to digital financial services, according to a news release.

Des Mones-based Dwolla was one of five fintech developers who worked on the software, called Mojaloop (Moja means one in Swahili).

According to the release, Mojaloop will increase interoperability between financial institutions and mobile payments platforms. The result would be reaching more of the underbanked and unbanked in areas such as Africa and Asia.

Roughly two billion people lack access to bank accounts, according to World Bank data.

According to the release, 194,000 households in Kenya moved out of extreme poverty due in part to their access to M-Pesa—a mobile money platform—and users’ ability to save money more effectively.

Mojaloop was designed to serve as a model for national payment switching systems that enable an individual’s digital wallet to connect with her employer’s bank account and her children’s school account to complete monthly transactions. The code can also be applied to adapt and improve existing services.

Digital financial services are now available in nearly 100 countries but expansion of these services have been hampered by a lack of interoperability between digital financial services and payment platforms.

Mojaloop is available now—free-of-cost—for software developers to adapt and banks, financial service providers and companies to implement.

Information on the code can be found at mojaloop.io.

Mojaloop was created by the Gates Foundation’s Level One Project, which is aimed at leveling the economic playing field by crowding in expertise and resources to build inclusive payment models to benefit the world’s poor, according to the release.