Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation releases open source mobile payments software

Dave W. Shanahan

As reported by GeekWire, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released open source mobile payments software that can be used by impoverished nations to send payments globally. The mobile payment software is called Mojaloop, is available now, free-of-cost, for software developers to adapt and banks, financial service providers and companies to implement, and unlike PayPal, Mojaloop does not charge any fees to send or receive money.

Mojaloop’s name is derived from “moja,” which is the Swahili word for “one,” and is a mobile payment solution for the poorest countries in Africa where just “going to the bank” is not an option. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released a statement on Mojaloop and its purpose:

“Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome. With Mojaloop, our technology partners have finally achieved a solution that can apply to any service, and we invite banks and the payments industry to explore and test this tool.”

Mojaloop was created by the Gates Foundation’s Leve One Project. The Leve One Project uses in-house expertise and resources to create mobile payment options for the world’s poorest nations. In this case, the Gates Foundation was helped by fintech developers Ripple, Dwolla, ModusBox, Crosslake Technologies and Software Group to develop Mojaloop.

Since Mojaloop is open source, the software allows digital payments to be secure, interoperable, and at scale across all of Africa, regardless of the providers’ software and services. Mojaloop is helpful, especially considering not everyone has a smartphone or access to mobile payment apps in poorer countries. Certainly, access to money is something that people in developed countries take for granted.

Mojaloop is available for free through GitHub.