Registration for 40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs kicks-off.

KAMPALA, UGANDA – May 13, 2020. As part of its on-going Financial Inclusion efforts, HiPipo has today launched the 40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs initiative with online registration currently underway.

40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs, running from  25th May to 5th July 2020 will have 40 Africa based FinTech companies get introduced to Mojaloop OSS and guided on how to best use this open source software to achieve the best financial inclusion results for their bigger audiences with Women led FinTechs given special attention.

While announcing this development, Innocent Kawooya – the HiPipo CEO noted that this initiative will help to expose local FinTechs, Developer teams or emerging companies to new tools available to reach the poor and as such extend access to innovative financial services.

“FinTechs should be excited because they have a grand chance to expand their market, first through learning and developing interoperable solutions using new amazing technologies such as Mojaloop. And secondly, because of the many discoveries and lessons they are going to make from the many astonishing and failed stories that we are going to discover and expose to the FinTech community and the world.” Mr. Kawooya said, adding;

“Additionally, thanks to this initiative, Mobile Network Operators and Banks are going to be more open to integration and collaboration and last but most importantly, one or a number of the FinTechs that will participate in the initiative, collaborate and embrace the use of Mojaloop might turn into the real heroes of our economy that will maybe create a payment switch that will simplify payments interoperability in different markets forever.”

Follow this link to learn more about and register for the 40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs project – https://www.hipipo.org/40-days-40-fintech/

Include EveryOne Program.

HiPipo is keen to promote secure digital financial services because of their vital role in promoting financial inclusion. We through the Include Everyone program identify, analyse, and prioritize trends and innovations in digital financial services (DFS) that have potential impact on financial inclusion in Africa. The primary objective is to flag, advocate for and shine a light on impactful and transformative directions in the financial inclusion arena.

Our aim is to influence and shape financial technology and policy decisions within regulators, policy makers, government, political, economic, and social systems and institutions.

About Mojaloop OSS.

Mojaloop OSS is open-source software for financial services companies, government regulators, and others taking on the challenges of interoperability and financial inclusion. It was originally developed by ModusBox with funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Level 1 Project in 2017.

However, on May 6th 2020, the Mojaloop Foundation was unveiled with its initial sponsors being Coil, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, ModusBox, Omidyar Network, and The Rockefeller Foundation. The established of the Mojaloop Foundation will extend financial inclusion efforts, initiated by the Mojaloop platform to over 500 million people in developing countries.

In West Africa, MTN and Orange Group are already using Mojaloop for a joint mobile money wallet product code-named MOWALI, Tanzania, at the start of 2019 rolled out the Tanzania Instant Payments System (TIPS) fully supported by the same software while in Kenya, a Mojaloop developers community is picking up.

Mojaloop made its entry in to Uganda in September 2019 with a 3 days Hack Mojaloop Developers workshop held in Kampala and organized by HiPipo – a local partner of Mojaloop in the country.

Ends.

Mojaloop Foundation set to boost Digital Payments in developing countries.

The availability and affordability of digital financial services (DFS) in developing countries is set to further improve with at-least 500 million people targeted as direct beneficiaries.

This follows the recent formation and launch of the Mojaloop Foundation by global tech leaders, with its initial sponsors being Coil, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, ModusBox, Omidyar Network, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

The Mojaloop Foundation will extend financial inclusion efforts, initiated by the Mojaloop platform that was originally developed by ModusBox with funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2017.

Mojaloop is open-source software for financial services companies, government regulators, and others taking on the challenges of interoperability and financial inclusion.

In an interview, Kosta Peric, who doubles as the Mojaloop Foundation chairman and deputy director, Financial Services for the Poor, at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation noted that sponsoring members have agreed to ensure that the organization adheres to “our fundamental mission of financial inclusion and to advocate for the on-going development and enhancement of the Mojaloop software.”

He added: “As the emphasis of the digital payments moves to ‘real-time’ and ‘person-to-person’ payment platforms, I think new, innovative service companies in transportation, solar-pay-as-you-go, digital markets and others, can benefit from Mojaloop’s model. I hope that Mojaloop will be an innovation vector for the creation of more innovative companies of this nature that can benefit the lives of the poor.”

Focus on Africa.

Africa has been the pacesetter for mobile financial services. Since 2007 when M-Pesa – the world’s first mobile money platform was launched by Kenya’s Safaricom, mobile money has blossomed on the continent.

According to the 2019 GMSA State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money, Africa (sub-Saharan plus north) currently has close to 500 million mobile money accounts including about 200 million active users. This represents 50 per cent of the world’s over 1 billion registered mobile money accounts.

Eastern Africa alone has about 249 million registered accounts, including some 102 million active accounts. Uganda alone has more than 22 million mobile subscribers currently. A bigger percentage of these users mainly use the wallet to wallet, person to person (sending, receiving and withdrawing) services.

Nonetheless, more effort must be put in to mobile money value added services and that is where platforms like Mojaloop become very critical.

In West Africa, MTN and Orange Group are using Mojaloop for a joint mobile money wallet product code-named MOWALI, Tanzania, at the start of 2019 rolled out the Tanzania Instant Payments System (TIPS) fully supported by the same software while in Kenya, a Mojaloop developers community is picking up.

Mojaloop made its entry in to Uganda in September 2019 with a 3 days Hack Mojaloop Developers workshop held in Kampala and organized by HiPipo – a local partner of Mojaloop in the country.

The developers that took part in the Hack Mojaloop workshop were optimistic that this open source software was well positioned to solve financial interoperability (cross network mobile money transactions) challenges that were a headache to players and customers alike.

At that time, mobile money platforms were experiencing several performance hiccups that made it impossible for MTN Mobile Money customers to send money to Airtel Money customers and vice-versa for over two months.

Even though the stand-off that both telecoms blamed on technical glitches has since been resolved, more needs to done and Mojaloop will come through for Uganda.

According to Innocent Kawooya, the CEO of HiPipo – the local partner leading the software’s adoption in Uganda and Africa, the Mojaloop Foundation is timely as FinTechs will now have a chance to better serve more than 500 million unbanked people in Africa, by developing affordable interoperable secure payment systems, across different sectors and industries, at a very low cost using Mojaloop.

“We should be excited about the fact that with Mojaloop, you can connect not only the mobile money systems but also the traditional banks. This means, users and service providers alike will be able to openly process payments flexibly to any network, or bank anytime, plus the amazing possibility of transacting across borders, affordably,” Mr. Kawooya asserted.

With the world faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, digital financial services are central in combating its spread. They will not only deepen financial inclusion but also keep millions of people safe,” the recent Lifesaving capacity of Digital Financial service report by HiPipo noted.

The launch of Mojaloop Foundation was covered by New Vision – Uganda’s biggest newspaper.

Launch of Mojaloop Foundation is set to boost the on-going Mojaloop Financial Inclusion mission.

WAKEFIELD, Mass., USA – May 6, 2020 – The Mojaloop Foundation today announced its formation as a charitable nonprofit organization to extend financial inclusion efforts initiated by the Mojaloop open source software project. To achieve its mission, the Mojaloop Foundation will operate with an open governance model and legal framework dedicated to advancing and maintaining the Mojaloop free, open source software and development community as public goods in service of financial inclusion globally. Coil, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, ModusBox, Omidyar Network, and The Rockefeller Foundation have joined the organization as the initial Sponsor members. More information about Mojaloop is available on GitHub and at https://mojaloop.io/.

Despite mobile money services emerging in nearly 100 countries, 1.7 billion people still lack access to digital financial services, according to the World Bank’s Global Findex. A lack of interoperability between digital financial services and payment platforms is a large part of the problem. It can be costly and complex to build interoperable systems that are inclusive to all. Mojaloop serves as a blueprint for how to simplify and reduce the cost of payment interoperability so that banks and other providers can develop tools that meet the needs of emerging markets and the unbanked. Increasing access to digital financial services and tools are critical to accelerating the rate at which the financially excluded move into the formal financial system and hold on to the gains they have made, especially in developing economies. If widely adopted, interoperable digital financial services could provide more of the population with access to important financial tools, while adding $3.7 trillion to emerging countries’ GDP by 2025, according to McKinsey Global Institute.

“More affordable, accessible digital financial services are still needed to close the financial inclusion gap,” said Paula Hunter, executive director, the Mojaloop Foundation. “With the launch of the Mojaloop Foundation, our initial Sponsor members will serve as active contributors to achieving our financial inclusion mission. Mojaloop open source software, its collaboration community and convenings will continue to serve as a path forward for organizations creating interoperable payments platforms to connect all digital financial providers and customers within an economy. We encourage organizations interested in our mission of financial inclusion to join the Mojaloop Foundation.”

Named after the Swahili word for “one,” Mojaloop is a reference model for payment interoperability between services and providers. This interconnectedness, within an economy, can reduce barriers to customer access and potential transaction volume, as well as increase opportunities for low-income individuals to access services that are traditionally out of reach.

The open source software was first established in 2017 to support its financial inclusion work. With the launch of the Mojaloop Foundation, the work initiated by the Mojaloop project will continue to serve banks, digital financial service providers, governmental offices, NGOs, regulators, technology companies and other entities in emerging economies where financial inclusion efforts can most benefit underserved communities.

“Our vision of universal financial inclusion is a world where everyone, everywhere, can access and use the digital financial services they need to build economic security and resilience,” said Kosta Peric, the newly-appointed chairman of the Mojaloop Foundation and deputy director of the Financial Services for the Poor program at the Gates Foundation. “The work of the Mojaloop open source project will thrive with the talent, innovation and leadership from this dynamic group of member organizations, in service of our shared mission to benefit underserved and low-income communities.”

Mojaloop Foundation Welcomes Board of Directors, Officers, Technical Governing Board.

The Mojaloop Foundation’s newly-appointed Board of Directors, Officers, and Technical Governing Board provide the strategic vision, funding, and technical guidance to ensure the long-term health and growth of the Mojaloop open source software and development community. Comprised of appointees from each of the organization’s Sponsor members, each member of the Board of Directors has one equal vote, and a fiduciary duty to support the mission of the organization.

The 2020-2021 Mojaloop Foundation Board of Directors include Miller Abel, Deputy Director and Principal Technologist, Gates Foundation; Adama Diallo, Head of Partnerships for Next Billion Users Africa, Google; David Wexler, CEO, ModusBox; Adrian Hope-Bailie, Head of Services and Interledger, Coil; CV Madhukar, Managing Director, Beneficial Technology, Omidyar Network; and Kevin O’Neil, Director of Data and Technology, The Rockefeller Foundation.

The Mojaloop Foundation Board of Directors elected the following Officers and Technical Governing Board (TGB) for the 2020-2021 term to oversee the organization’s work: Kosta Peric, Chairman; Paula Hunter, Secretary; and Robert Ron, CFO of ModusBox, will serve as Treasurer.

TGB representatives for the 2020-2021 term include Miller Abel; Adrian Hope-Bailie; JJ Geewax, Software Engineer, Google; and Warren Carew, Vice President, ModusBox. Overseen by the Board of Directors, the TGB will oversee the organization’s work, including participation in software decisions and authorization of code maintainers, consistent with the Mojaloop Foundation’s charitable and educational purpose.

HiPipo Foundation is a Mojaloop Community Partner.

Supporting Quotes from Mojaloop Foundation Initial Sponsor Members

“The Mojaloop Foundation has brought together a diverse group of organizations and corporations that are champions of the essential role of interoperability in accelerating financial inclusion. This alliance will help make critical progress on the development of digital payment systems to support inclusive economies. We welcome additional organizations to join us in this important work,” said Mojaloop Foundation founding Sponsor member Miller Abel, deputy director and principal technologist for the Financial Services for the Poor program at the Gates Foundation.

“The inherent challenge with deploying payment systems is that it is a complex concept and isn’t as simple as ‘buy this technology and install it.’ There are regulatory components; operational components; training and enablement; financial inclusion principles, among other challenges. What’s great about the formation of the Mojaloop Foundation is that we’ve brought together a team of diverse experts in all of those various components. The collaboration between these experts and the development community is really what’s going to drive the success of our financial inclusion mission,” said Mojaloop Foundation founding Sponsor member David Wexler, CEO, ModusBox.

“At Google, we believe that financial institutions, governments and technology companies need to work together if we want to empower people to be financially capable. In joining other Sponsor members in building the Mojaloop Foundation, we are providing ways for all of us to work together to advance financial inclusion that will transform lives — that means seeing that people understand digital money, have access to it and manage it with confidence, and use it to make their lives better. That, to us, is what it means to make technology open, accessible and helpful for everyone,” said Mojaloop Foundation founding Sponsor member Adama Diallo, head of partnerships for Google’s Next Billion Users Initiative in Africa.

“More and more businesses want their payment systems to be inclusive to all but need a blueprint for overcoming the cost and complexity of payment interoperability. Mojaloop open source software provides that reference model, empowering organizations to create real-time, interoperable, inclusive payment systems based on financial inclusion principles. With the formation of the Mojaloop Foundation, Coil is excited to join our fellow founding Sponsor members to uphold the financial inclusion mission set by the Mojaloop open source project,” said Mojaloop Foundation founding Sponsor member Adrian Hope-Bailie, head of Services and Interledger, Coil.

“With the support of its dedicated community of developers, Mojaloop is designed upfront with the privacy, security, and other critical safeguards to truly enable safe, trustworthy, and inclusive financial services. And the Mojaloop Foundation brings together the leaders needed to provide that direction, funding, and legal framework to ensure its open source software always remains a free, public good,” said Mojaloop Foundation founding Sponsor member CV Madhukar, managing director of Beneficial Technology at Omidyar Network.

“It’s more important than ever to increase access to high-quality digital financial services that are affordable for people of any income level. Because Mojaloop is open and accessible, it’s not only bringing transformative impact to families and communities, but serves as a model for how to build digital public goods that work for everyone,” said Mojaloop Foundation founding Sponsor member Kevin O’Neil, director of Data and Technology, The Rockefeller Foundation.

About the Mojaloop Foundation

The Mojaloop Foundation’s mission is to increase financial inclusion by empowering organizations creating interoperable payment systems to enable digital financial services for all. To achieve its mission, Mojaloop Foundation operates as a charitable nonprofit, maintaining its free, open source software, Mojaloop, and community as public goods in service of financial inclusion. Merchants, banks, providers, government offices and other entities looking to build inclusive payments platforms can use Mojaloop—whole, adapted, or as a real-time payments reference model. The Mojaloop Foundation is in the process of applying for its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. For more information about the Mojaloop Foundation, visit https://mojaloop.io/.

Even our ROLEX GUY accepts MOBILE MONEY. What about YOU?

Good Day Friends.   This is Ella Kalungi.

Two years ago, my sister and I wanted a ROLEX.

Dad gave us some cash.

Our Aunt escorted us but some metres behind.

In no time, we were at the ROLEX stall.

We ordered for our favourite; 1 chapatti, two eggs and tomatoes Rolex.

When our ROLEX guy was done, he asked for the money.

Ooops, we had lost the cash while running to satisfy our carving.

At this point, our Aunt called Dad.

He wasn’t happy but accepted to get another KAMONEY.

Daddy said; “get the ROLEX GUY’s mobile money number.” Mobile what? I wondered.

But, in 1 minute, the ROLEX guy had the MONEY. He handed us our ROLEX.

Since then; we don’t do cash. We pay with Mobile Money.

Women Leadership in a FinTech Company is Vital for developing systems for women – Mojaloop PI-10 Session Poll

Thank you to everyone who  took time to complete our poll during our Mojaloop PI-10 session on Hack-a-thon Update presentation.

Results for a poll that was run poll during the Mojaloop PI-10 community session on Hack-a-thon and responded to by 32 FinTech, Financial Inclusion and Business experts from more 15 countries around the globe revealed that Women leadership in FinTech companies plays a major role in developing financial systems for women.

The questions was: 

Do you think prioritizing women leadership for a FinTech company has a positive effect on developing products and systems that best serve women’s needs?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Eighty Five percent (83%) of the respondent were male whereas 17 percent were female.

88% answered yes and 12 percent said no.

Below is chart showing results of the findings.

COVID-19 Pandemic: Digital Financial Services Users saved USD 60 Million in 30 days – HiPipo Report.

Photo by Owaraga Emmanuel - Life Saving capacity of Digital Financial Services (DFS) - HiPipo Report

Kampala, Uganda – 17th April 2020.

From Time Saving to Life Saving capacity of Digital Financial Services (DFS), the latest report by HiPipo estimates that about 110 million people were in the last 30 days, ending 14th April derisked from Coronavirus exposures that would consequently result in to many of them contracting the dreaded COVID-19 disease.

This good news is thanks to the users’ ability to use DFS instead of physical handling and exchange of cash notes, in 15 African countries. Many of these saved lives are women who shop for their families’ daily needs. But that’s not all.

Further, to process 102 million wallet to wallet transfers, users saved close to USD 60 Million over the same period. This HiPipo report randomly sampled digital financial services in Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Swaziland, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Benin, Ghana, DRC Congo, and South Africa.

With the temporary waving of transfer fees, each user most likely saved at least USD 0.3 whenever they processed a transfer. However, cross network/bank services are still costly. With more interoperability implementation, a further $30 Million is likely to be saved each 30 days if transfers keep zero rated and interoperability costs are cut up to about 70 percent. So far, Mobile Money operators like MTN, Safaricom, Airtel and Banks such as Stanbic and Standard Chartered, have zero rated digital banking services in a number of countries.

At least 1.2 billion transactions were processed in 30 days, through 110million active wallets. This means these 15 countries are processing close to 40 million mobile money transactions a day.

Mobile money account-to-account (A2A) interoperability is increasing transfer volumes between providers. Interoperable person to person (P2P) transfer volumes (i.e. off-net transfers) grew by nearly 23 per cent between March 14 and April 14 2020.

Stronger desire for interoperability and integrations with banks and mobile network operators (MNOs), would attract more international financial system players. Mobile money-enabled international remittances have been flourishing within the last 30 days. Remittance services such as Azimo, world remit have seen a tremendous growth in usage, for instance Azimo has registered customer growth of M-Pesa users.

With the Coronavirus pandemic in mind, various FinTechs are working on cross-border payments solutions in collaboration with money transfer giants to enable instant money transfers to the mobile wallets in Africa and Asia.

“Cross-border interoperability, collaboration and integrations such as Mowali with traditional remittance service providers (RSPs) like money transfer operators – MoneyGram and Western Union, and digital RSPs and FinTechs, such as Wirex, CurrencyFair, TransferWise, WeSwap, WorldRemit, Wave, TransferGo, Skrill and Azimo will play a very noble role in scaling remittances and DFS.” .” Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO noted.

GitHub’s Open Source in the Social Sector report, quoted Miller Abel who stresses that “collaboration can bring down the DFS cost to the consumer to, “essentially zero, so that cost is no longer a barrier for use.” Miller leads the Mojaloop project, which is open source software (OSS) designed to increase interoperability among financial systems and create more global financial inclusivity.

The Covid-19 situation marks a decisive start towards the ‘new normal’ in financial services, a digital one for all, as the number of digital financial transactions, mobile money subscribers and active wallets will keep growing and become part of everyday life for more people around the world as long as all stakeholders play their role.

Lastly, in a bid to Include Everyone, a new digital payments’ lifestyle must be helped with disruptive innovation because of the available opportunities for the incumbents, as the Covid-19 situation is much- anticipated to slowly lead to the death of cash.

#IncludeEveryOne : We don’t handle cash. We do MOBILE MONEY.

Hello.

I am Daniella Kaitesi.

Allow me tell you a story.

One day, a little girl was playing at home.

By mistake, she swallowed a coin.

Her mother feared and didn’t know what to do.

But thank GOD, after two days, the COIN passed and the girl got fine.

But the girl wouldn’t have swallowed the coin if her mother didn’t have CASH at home.

Paper money and coins are dirty and risky more so when having kids at home.

Yet, mobile money is safe.

I have watched on TV that using mobile money also helps reduce the spread of Corona Virus.

I am happy that my mummy loves and uses mobile money.

Even the other girl’s mummy also switched to mobile money.

I AM SAFE.

MY SISTER IS ALSO SAFE.

STAY SAFE UGANDA.

FINANCIAL INCLUSION is no longer an option. It is a NECESSITY.

Emily Sonia Nakabuye.

In 1994, the world’s richest man, also MICROSOFT founder, BILL GATES declared that BANKING IS NECESSARY but BANKS ARE NOT.

26 years later, the innovations and developments in the banking and finance sector continue to vindicate BILL GATES.

His proclamation is even more relevant now, considering that the Coronavirus pandemic has become a fully-fledged global economic crisis.

Minus washing hands with soap, sanitizing, not touching our eyes, nose and mouth plus STAYING AT HOME, another effective way of combating COVID19 is embracing Mobile Financial Services.

In African tradition, having money in CASH is a sign of wealth and status but these out-dated practices must totally stop if we are to SURVIVE such pandemics.

Money notes are not only dirty and infected but also unsafe as they encourage theft. On the other hand, a cashless economy is clean and safe.

Away from the health angle, the economic way of combating the Corona Virus is embracing Mobile Financial Services such as mobile money and other digital payments.

Digital cashless payments particularly empower WOMEN and other vulnerable members of our society to take care of their family needs through electronic home shopping using mobile money without exposing themselves to COVID19 and other dangers.

It is not lost on me that a big section of our people is in rural areas with limited access to mobile phones. But we have a very good start point.

Even so, COVID19 should be a wakeup call for US. How do we ensure that everyone boards the mobile financial services train? What are we doing to ensure that mobile financial services are available, affordable and accessible by everyone?

HiPipo Foundation is implementing a deliberate program to further entrench financial inclusion with well-tailored activities targeting everyone, but with stronger focus on WOMEN, YOUTH and PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.

Like you may know; an ECONOMY that includes EVERYONE, BENEFITS EVERYONE.

I am home and safe.

DFS, the ‘New Normal’ of Financial Services

From crisis comes innovation and opportunity. #COVID19 situation is no different. The ‘new normal’ in financial services will be an increasingly digital one and it is up to the incumbents to finally invest in this. We may finally see ‘real’ digital transformation and achieve full financial inclusion. Digital Financial Services will from now and going forward be key to any form of transaction.

HiPipo is keen to promote secure digital financial services because of their vital role in promoting financial inclusion.

It is time for advocates, MNOs, Banks, FinTechs, developers and everyone keen to promote financial inclusion to think interoperability, think internet of money and think of the most affordable ways to ensure everyone can have access to digital financial services.

For instance expansion of choices and creating platforms that strengthen the voices for women and girls in the financial inclusion arena might become the most profitable investment that benefits everyone now and for the future. Think about it!