May 6, 2020

Introducing the Mojaloop Foundation

An Update from the Mojaloop Foundation:

Today we launch the next phase in the development of the Mojaloop open source project with the formal introduction of the Mojaloop Foundation. As a global, charitable organization, our mission is to increase financial inclusion by empowering a diverse, global payment ecosystem to create interoperable payment solutions for all. We could not be prouder or more excited to move forward, as the vision of universal financial inclusion – a world where everyone, everywhere, can access the digital financial services needed to connect to the global economy – has never been more critical. 

We encourage organizations interested in the Mojaloop Foundation’s mission of financial inclusion to join us, but here is why the organization was formed and ways to get involved: 

The Mojaloop Foundation 

The Mojaloop open source software was created in 2017, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in consultation with global experts and technology leaders.  The time has come to expand and diversify leadership around Mojaloop and its growing community. The creation of the Mojaloop Foundation will ensure that organizations with different perspectives and expertise can continue to contribute, not only to the development, but to the education that will support its use, and the financial and technical support of this activity. 

The Mojaloop Foundation will continue to support the deployment of its open source software and provide financial, technical, and governance support to ensure the health and growth of the Mojaloop open source software and community as public goods in service of financial inclusion. The organization aims to benefit people, providers, governments and economies. The Mojaloop Foundation will utilize an open, digital approach to inclusive payment models and collaborate with mission-driven, non-governmental- and technology-based member organizations across the public and private sectors. 

Our collaborative, open source approach 

All of our work is done using a collaborative, open source approach and anyone is welcomed into the community. We adhere to the Apache Software Foundation license to ensure that people have free and unfettered access to the Mojaloop code base.  

There are multiple benefits of using this open source approach. First, it lowers the deployment costs, and since we are trying to address financial inclusion, the transaction costs for using the software have to be very, very low. An open source license eliminates the proprietary licensing fees that a bank or a financial service provider would have to pay to deploy the platform and enables us to maintain Mojaloop as a public good for increasing financial inclusion. 

Additionally, organizations and companies interested in deploying Mojaloop code or using it as a reference model, want to add value for their users. They want to have their own unique application experience or end-user experience, and they want to offer specific services that are unique to their market and their target audience. Using an open source stack, they don’t have to worry about maintaining that stack on their own. By collaborating with the community, they plug into a team of developers from all over that are working on the code, maintaining it, enhancing it, testing it, and so it takes the burden off the individual deployer from having to do all of that on its own. 

Welcoming Our Sponsor Members 

The Mojaloop Foundation inaugural Sponsor members are a balance of mission-driven, non-governmental and technology organizations that provide the strategic vision, funding, and technical guidance needed to advance and maintain the Mojaloop open source software and engage the community. Sponsor members include Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Coil; Google; ModusBox; Omidyar Network; and The Rockefeller Foundation 

All initial sponsors have one representative on the board of directors and technical governing board and one vote of control of the organization. What is critical here is that all these founders have a responsibility to ensure that we adhere to our fundamental mission of financial inclusion and to advocate for the ongoing development and enhancement of the Mojaloop software. We welcome additional sponsors to round out the governance of the foundation. 

Today we unite seven organizations together to advance financial inclusion. We have several charitable-focused organizations, like the Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Omidyar Network, that are keenly interested in our charitable mission of financial inclusion. And we have technology companies like Coil, Google, and ModusBox that are fully committed to the technical roadmap, development, and maintenance of the open source code. We will be able to successfully harness all of this expertise to meet our objectives and welcome additional members to contribute as well.  

Path Forward 

The Mojaloop Foundation will focus on supporting innovation in the global south, including the vibrant fintech industry that is flourishing in emerging economies, as well as digital financial service providers, regulators, NGOs and governmental offices looking to address critical challenges faced by local underserved communities.  

Right now, our immediate priority is to support our community and educate and engage implementors, solution providers, governments and NGOs looking at new ways to deploy interoperable payment solutions and extend market reach to better serve the unbanked. 

The Mojaloop Foundation will continue to hold Mojaloop convenings, where developers will come together four times per year to discuss progress to date and prioritize features and requirements that have been set by the marketplace. As always, these will be community-driven endeavors and we will continue to prominently publish our organizational priorities via GitHub. More information will be forthcoming from our new community manager, Simeon Oriko, who will be engaging regularly with our developer and contributor communities. 

Once again, we are thrilled to move ahead with as the Mojaloop Foundation and look forward to knocking down barriers to financial inclusion the world over.