Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the world. With this unexpected ruckus, one thing has come out clearly – that is the significance of technology to our lives and prosperity.
Owing to this reality, Financial Technology players are now backing the adoption of interoperable financial services solutions to further safe guard Ugandans from COVID-19, but also enhance financial inclusion.
During the ongoing 40 days 40 fintechs project organized by HiPipo, in partnership with Crosslake Tech, Modusbox and Mojaloop foundation, majority of the participants have warmed up to the unlimited opportunities that would come with wide scale financial interoperability.
One such person excited about these unlimited possibilities is Joshua Mandela, a Projects Manager at Pegasus, a leading Fintech in payment services aggregation in Uganda with 13 years’ experience in development, configuration, deployment, support and maintenance of financial and billing solutions for businesses and institutions.
Mandela notes that interoperability is long overdue in Uganda where about every transaction will soon be easily done digitally. Their Pegasus platform currently handles over Shs1.7 trillion in transaction volumes annually for its aggregated partners.
Further, True African’s founder and managing director Eric Kamau says it is important to understand the special needs of the people you want to serve, so that you develop products that meet their needs.
“Having technology alone is not enough; you must understand the special needs and requirements for different people. At the moment, people have a variety of banks and mobile lines. This means we need solutions that work on cross networks and across borders,” he notes.
True African are the pioneers in the value added services (VAS) industry, with products such as merchant collections, bulk payments, mobile banking, software development and a VSLA Imara platform.
What is Interoperability?
Interoperability is the property that facilitates unrestricted sharing and use of data or resources between disparate systems via local area networks (LANs) or wide area networks (WANs). In other words, interoperability is the glue that brings disparate tools into a unified environment for ultimate productivity.
There are two types of data interoperability – syntactic interoperability, which is a prerequisite to semantic interoperability and enables different software components to cooperate, facilitating two or more systems to communicate and exchange data; and semantic interoperability, which refers to the ability of computer systems to exchange meaningful data with unambiguous, shared meaning.
One of the tools that can fast-track financial interoperability is Mojaloop; an 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 in 2017.
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 is expected to extend financial inclusion efforts to over 500 million people in developing countries.
“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,” 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.
40 days 40 fintechs telling Prime Financial Inclusion stories.
Innocent Kawooya, the CEO at HiPipo, says the 40 days 40 fintechs initiative seeks to enable FinTechs innovate solutions that facilitate cross-network financial transactions at minimal risks to enhance access to financial services.
A TEAM FROM HAMWE LIMITED BEING FACILITATED ABOUT FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY TODAY.
“The 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative continues to pave the way as an advocacy platform for the creation and dissemination of technology that enables financial inclusivity. We are honored to shine a spotlight on those that are actively breaking down digital barriers and, in the process, bringing millions of those that were technologically disenfranchised into the digital transactional space,” he said.
“Such applications are positively transforming lives and revolutionizing the very definition of financial inclusion. The stories we continue to share with stakeholders are showcasing ably serve as a foundation on new best practices for the sector worldwide.”
Kawooya concludes that the 40-Days-40-FinTechs season one hosted in Uganda is just the beginning, and so much more needs to be done.
“We shall continue with the same fearlessness: we are proud to continue forging Africa’s digital and financial landscape. And with the potential we have seen, with the talent we have helped nurture, we know that to ‘Include Everyone’ is more than just a dream, it is something we are making real…” he said.