by David Wexler on May 13, 2020
Q&A with Mojaloop Foundation Director David Wexler, CEO of ModusBox
With the launch of the Mojaloop Foundation as a charitable organization, its inaugural Sponsor members will take on the responsibilities of providing financial, technical and legal assistance to ensure the health and growth of the user community. Sponsor member ModusBox has been a core contributor to the development of Mojaloop and will continue to help guide its future.
We recently interviewed ModusBox CEO David Wexler, who will serve on the inaugural Mojaloop Foundation Board of Directors, to talk about the launch of the organization and the vision for universal financial inclusion.
Why is ModusBox joining the Mojaloop Foundation as a Sponsor member? How is this a different commitment than just being a part of the open source project?
DW: The creation of the Mojaloop Foundation is a significant acknowledgment that the Mojaloop project can thrive as a public good. The organization will continue its strong focus on community to advance Mojaloop as a reference model while taking into account all of the governance, regulation and other complexities involved in implementing an interoperable payment system. By evolving the project into its own foundation with a group of goal-oriented organizations, Mojaloop will have the support, funding and guidance from a group of collaborative organizations dedicated to increasing financial inclusion.
Where does universal financial inclusion stand today? With more countries adopting financial inclusion goals, how does that manifest itself in the market?
DW: Certainly, as the Mojaloop project has advanced, we’ve learned a lot about what impacts financial inclusion and we continue to evolve our thinking and identify the most useful components of the software. We expect moving forward that metrics around financial inclusion will show the impact of open source switching.
How are organizations embracing financial inclusion goals?
DW: Often when we’re talking to regulators or having conversations with people that are influential in driving financial inclusion in their region or country, what we’re seeing more often now is that organizations view financial inclusion as a metric for success. The volume of users on a given system or network ties into the success of the network, as opposed to just charging high fees and trying to recoup the costs of the network as quickly as possible. Instead, it’s a consideration of ‘how do we include more people on the network?’ and ‘how do we re-examine pricing to drive financial inclusion?’
What’s unique about Mojaloop’s open source approach?
DW: The benefit of open source technologies is that you can effectively reduce or remove your dependence on external vendor parties. When you’re talking about a national payment infrastructure solution, that’s a critical component because government offices want to reduce their proprietary dependence. Without spending the hundreds of millions of dollars that it would potentially take to rebuild a financial system from the ground up, open source is the ideal way to jumpstart that effort.
How will ModusBox best contribute to moving the Mojaloop Foundation forward?
DW: ModusBox is focused on improving lives by accelerating access to reimagined financial services. We’ve built a large team of experts in the space with software development and delivery skills. So, from a practical perspective, if you want to build one of these reimagined financial systems, to understand how to use it and integrate it, we’ve got a fantastic team that can help you do that. Additionally, we’re helping support the Mojaloop community by making contributions to the core code, helping to evolve the software faster and building training programs to enhance the community capacity.
How will bringing together such a diverse group of companies as Sponsor members benefit the Mojaloop Foundation long-term?
DW: The inherent problem with deploying payment systems is that it is a complex concept and isn’t as simple as ‘buy this technology and install it.’ There are regulatory components, operational components, training and enablement, education and marketing, etc. What’s great about the Mojaloop Foundation is that we’ve brought together a team of diverse experts in all of those various components. The collaboration between these experts is really what’s going to drive the success of the Mojaloop Foundation.