Digital Saving and Loans is offering quick small loans/saving remotely over digital channels such as for M-Shwari in Kenya, Mokash and Wewole in Uganda. Digital saving and loans can benefit borrowers as an alternative to informal lending sources to meet emergency liquidity needs of poor households and provide a first step into formal financial services. In promoting financial services for the poor, banking and telecom organization should enable digital driven means for developing saving culture which would spur better and less risk lending trends and decisions. P2P lending, SACCO lending can all be digitized if small Fintechs and developers are given the right tools and APIs to integrate into the financial platform of big Telecoms and banks. The data available already for customer GSM and Mobile Money transactions is a starting ground to help in offering well-tailored products to key segments of the poor, youth and women that we need to be more included in formal financial services.
“Open APIs will Advance Digital Saving and Loans Innovations. Under Include Everyone program, we believe that the more we promote OPEN API for identify (KYC), Data and Transaction use cases, the more we shall propel innovation to delivered financial services for the poor” remarks Innocent Kawooya CEO HiPipo.
An application programming interface (API) “is an architecture that makes it easy for one application to ‘consume’ capabilities or data from another application” (Apigee). It is a protocol that allows software programs to “talk” to one another, defining what information should be supplied and what actions will be taken when it is executed. A common example is Uber’s use of Google Maps.
APIs are important to financial inclusion because they connect third-parties to established payments platforms e.g for M-PESA or MTN MOMO to deliver innovative services that address the needs of many customers. Many operators including Safaricom, Airtel, Vodacom/Vodafone, Orange, MTN have started initiative to avail their API over the web in what would be called an OPEN API approach. This approach will make it easier for different innovator to integrate to these renown telcom platforms and easily have their financial service for the poor innovations realized.
To go a level higher, Mojaloop which is widely thought and planned to be the potential and ultimate enabler for interoperability avails an open API that any stakeholder integrating into a mojaloop switch will easily have access to.
Innocent Kawooya CEO of HiPipo notes that under our Include Everyone program, We believe that open API, GSMA API and Mojaloop will be key to improve Financial Services for the Poor given the wide scale innovation that they would enable for small, medium and large enterprises and fintechs that are looking to contribute to Financial Inclusion.
Mojaloop grew out of principles set forth by the Financial Services for the Poor team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With support and funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mojaloop was designed by a team of leading tech and fintech companies: Ripple, Dwolla, ModusBox, Software Group and Crosslake Technologies
Mojaloop is open-source software for building interoperable digital payments platforms on a national, regional and international scale. Talk of payments and money transfers between Uganda and Kenya or Tanzania and Nigeria or Benin and Zambia. At a national scale, it could be payments and money transfers between all banks in the country and mobile money operators in the same country. These kinds of transactions will easily be facilitated by mojaloop. Mojaloop makes it easier and more affordable for different kinds of providers to link up their services and deploy low-cost financial services in new markets. Innocent Kawooya CEO HiPipo notes that in order to Include Everyone, we believe that software products and platforms such as mojaloop should be embraced since they will deliver more cost efficient interoperability.
Mojaloop development was funded by The Gates Foundation and is progressed and promoted by the Open Source Community. HiPipo under our Include Everyone Program support and promote the adoption of this software in the Open Source Community to facilitate financial inclusion.