by David Mangini on October 14, 2020
Q&A with David Mangini, General Manager, Giori Digital
Please introduce yourself and your company.
DM: I’m David Mangini, General Manager for Giori Digital SA, which is a Swiss company that provides central banks with a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) solution to offer their sovereign currency in digital form to drive greater financial inclusion for the underserved in society.
What first brought you to the Mojaloop Foundation, and why did you decide to become a member?
DM: We’ve been following Mojaloop for a few years, going back to the 2017 Senegal Level One project. After connecting with Kosta Peric from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in South Africa, I reached out to the Mojaloop Foundation when it officially launched earlier this year.
Our business focuses on Central Bank Digital Currency, the digital legal tender that central banks will issue in a digital format to reach anyone through existing mobile networks and payment systems. Through Mojaloop, we can expand the range of financial inclusion. With this kind of interoperability, you’re setting the stage for governments to deliver their social benefits directly to users. In addition to the benefits of uniting payments on a common platform, the central banks will also be able to make their currencies immediately available to anyone with a mobile phone.
The central banks’ purpose is different from commercial payment system modernization objectives. The central banks’ motivation is to issue a guaranteed currency to meet the social needs of a population. They want to promote financial inclusion, and they have the social goal to create a path to deliver their social benefits directly to the people. The Giori Digital solution enables the central bank to issue its digital currency, and Mojaloop provides an efficient layer to open the door to any payment system. This adds great value for the central bank in making its national currency available to anyone with a mobile phone across networks.
Using Mojaloop as part of the payment system will provide the layer needed to make a direct connection from the central bank all the way to the country’s citizens, merchants and other institutions, so that the money being spent is cash — digital cash. With the Mojaloop-enabled payment model and digital cash, central banks can pay the public directly and the public can pay for services. That’s what a lot of governments are really after. So, I think the two pieces – the Mojaloop platform and Giori Digital’s GSMT (Global Solutions for Money Technology) solution – fit together really well.
How will your background support the development of the organization?
DM: Giori Digital was founded on the legacy of Organization Giori that developed the printing technology for multi-color intaglio printing on banknotes in 1947. Gualtiero Giori, the founder, followed by Roberto Giori as the former president of De La Rue Giori, built the success of the banknote printing machines to produce 98% of all the banknotes in the world.
Since forming Giori Digital in 2012, we have met with more than 80 central banks around the world to discuss their needs, given that the Giori name is already very familiar to them. What our company has done is to create digital versions of the banknotes that the central banks and the public recognize as trusted and familiar. This concept started in 2012, but it is really in the last couple of years that the central banks’ attitude towards CBDC has changed more toward positive action.
This year, more central banks are proposing pilots. We were the first to complete a pilot with our solution for Retail CBDC in 2018 with the Central Bank of Uruguay. And now other countries including Sweden, South Africa, and the Caribbean region are planning new pilots of their own. Giori Digital is already involved in proposing our solution in all of these countries as their plans progress.
What excites you about most about the Mojaloop Foundation? What are you looking forward to most?
DM: It’s all such a great fit, a great complement, to what we’re trying to achieve. I’m looking forward to everything that we can accomplish together. I’ve been impressed so far with the work and progress already achieved by the Foundation. The Mojaloop Foundation is about financial inclusion and bringing together all of the payment participants within a country. Giori Digital adds the solution that allows central bank money to reach everyone. Mojaloop’s model is a valuable enabler that streamlines the spread of digital cash from a central bank throughout a country. I am really looking forward to working together with Mojaloop to expand the scope of the sovereign currency of a country for the benefit of the whole society.