Mojaloop Foundation Launches the Mojaloop CBDC Center of Excellence in Singapore
Initiative Brings Together the Fintech Ecosystem to Explore How Central Bank Digital Currency Technologies and Mojaloop Open Source Software Can Drive Inclusion at Scale
SINGAPORE — 22 June 2022 — The Mojaloop Foundation today announced the launch of its Mojaloop Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Center of Excellence (COE) in Singapore to advance financial inclusion in emerging markets. In addition, the Mojaloop Foundation announced the appointment of Nick Drury, a seasoned executive with nearly 25 years of experience innovating payments technology to drive inclusion, as the Mojaloop CBDC COE Director. Nick will oversee the operations and strategic growth of the COE and its initiatives, such as hackathons, workshops, and pilot projects. Through these efforts, the COE will examine how Mojaloop open source software can leverage CBDCs to reduce the costs and inefficiencies of fast payment platforms and cross-border payments.
The COE will extend Mojaloop’s ecosystem engagement, leverage Singapore’s proximity and connectivity to other regions and connect the underserved with financial services firms and government entities in the emerging digital economy. To help guide the direction of the COE’s initiatives, the Mojaloop Foundation has also formed a Mojaloop CBDC COE Working Group comprising appointees from Mojaloop Foundation members, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Coil, Google, ModusBox, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), RedCompass Labs, Ripple and Sybrin.
“The Mojaloop CBDC Center of Excellence will further expand the Mojaloop Foundation’s efforts to advance financial inclusion in emerging markets. Led by our COE Director Nick Drury and supported by our Working Group, the COE will examine the ways in which CBDCs have the potential to make a wider spectrum of Mojaloop-enabled push-payment capabilities available to central banks and their citizens, merchants and digital financial institutions,” said Mojaloop Foundation Executive Director Paula Hunter. “We’re also grateful to our partners, Ripple and Temasek, for their support, and we encourage all interested organizations to get involved in our COE initiatives.”
COVID-19 and the rise of contactless payments have prompted many central banks to consider CBDCs as a way of lowering the cost of settlement. By making digital payments and cross-border transfers seamless, the Mojaloop CBDC COE aims to identify ways to remove the restrictive hurdles and high fees that have been barriers to advancing financial inclusion in the past.
“MAS welcomes the setup of Mojaloop Foundation’s first global COE in Singapore. The COE’s effort to develop open-source software and a reference model for extending existing payment systems with wholesale digital currency-based settlement networks is a step forward into the future of financial services. We are delighted that Mojaloop has selected Singapore as the global hub to develop its capabilities and extend its ecosystem engagement, connecting the underserved with financial services firms and government entities in the emerging digital economy. We look forward to supporting the COE’s effort to foster greater international collaboration in enabling more seamless cross-border transactions.” said Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS and Mojaloop Foundation Board Advisor.
“With the launch of this initiative, the Mojaloop Foundation will provide leadership and critical learning to help governments and financial service providers understand how CBDCs can support financial inclusion, and what regulations and design features must be in place to facilitate use cases that benefit the poor. Our team looks forward to collaborating with the Center’s leadership and contributors to advance financial inclusion in emerging economies,” said Rodger Voorhies, President, Global Growth & Opportunity at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“I am excited about the opportunity to lead the Mojaloop CBDC COE’s Working Group members and bring in additional organizations from across the region to investigate the ways that Mojaloop and CBDC technology can solve real-world challenges for emerging markets. By developing potential financial inclusion opportunities such as lowering costs of cross-border payments, the Mojaloop CBDC COE can help emerging economies and the people they serve thrive in the digital economy,” said Drury.
To learn more and get involved in the Mojaloop CBDC COE and its Working Group, please visit here.
About the Mojaloop Foundation
The Mojaloop Foundation’s mission is to increase financial inclusion by empowering organizations creating interoperable payment systems to enable digital financial services for all. Sponsor-level members include Coil, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, MAS, ModusBox, Ripple and The Rockefeller Foundation. To achieve its mission, Mojaloop Foundation operates as a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization, maintaining its free, open source software, Mojaloop, and community as public goods in the service of financial inclusion. Merchants, banks, providers, government offices and other entities looking to build inclusive payments platforms can use Mojaloop – whole, adapted or as a real-time payments reference model. For more information about the Mojaloop Foundation, visit https://mojaloop.io/.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- “With the launch of the Mojaloop CBDC Center of Excellence, the Mojaloop Foundation is accelerating the broader adoption of inclusive, affordable domestic and cross-border payment platforms that benefit the underserved. I look forward to collaborating with the Center’s leadership and contributors to advance financial inclusion in emerging economies,” said Kosta Peric, Chair of the Mojaloop Foundation and Deputy Director of the Financial Services for the Poor program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- “Our team at Coil is pleased to be part of the Mojaloop CBDC Center of Excellence Working Group. As CBDCs and smart contract solutions gain momentum globally, we believe that it is essential to explore how CBDC technology can help Mojaloop open source software reduce the cost of interoperability. The goal is to expand the Mojaloop offering in ways that support emerging economies to build digital financial services that are more inclusive and accessible to all,” said Matšeliso Thabane, General Manager, Coil South Africa, a Mojaloop Foundation Sponsor member.
- “We are looking forward to collaborating with our fellow Mojaloop CBDC Center of Excellence Working Group members to advance Mojaloop’s mission of financial inclusion. Together, we can help organizations understand how to leverage CBDC technology and Mojaloop to build interoperable digital payment systems that work across borders, provide low-cost access, and make the world a more financially inclusive place,” said David Wexler, CEO at ModusBox, a Mojaloop Foundation Sponsor member.
- “RedCompass Labs’ mission is to open the doors of finance to all and protect those who enter. Indeed, we believe that interoperable payments and financial inclusion are key pillars of a fair, peaceful, and prosperous society. These objectives align perfectly with the Mojaloop CBDC Center of Excellence’s mission to advance financial inclusion. As part of the Working Group, we look forward to exploring how CBDC technology can enhance the ways in which Mojaloop open source software can remove the existing frictions in cross-border payments, and empower nations to make their payment ecosystem more inclusive by connecting various actors – central banks, digital financial providers, merchants and mobile money providers – to a single platform,” said Julie Guetta, Head of Payments Strategy at RedCompass Labs, a Mojaloop Foundation member.
- “We are honored to support the Mojaloop CBDC Center of Excellence in Singapore and join the Working Group. Creating economic fairness and opportunity for the unbanked and vulnerable populations is Ripple’s highest social impact priority — a natural extension of Ripple’s fundamental business. Ripple is proud to collaborate with fellow Working Group members on how CBDC technology and Mojaloop open source software can make cross-border payments faster, cheaper and more reliable and accessible for hundreds of millions of consumers and businesses globally,” said Ken Weber, Head of Social Impact, Ripple, a Mojaloop Foundation Sponsor member.
- “We are proud to be part of the Mojaloop CBDC Center of Excellence Working Group in Singapore. We have experienced the need for financial inclusion first-hand and support improving access for all by providing affordable software and solutions for banks and governments. We look forward to working with our fellow Working Group members to examine how CBDC technologies can enable Mojaloop to deliver easy-to-implement and easy-to-manage solutions that drive integration, interoperability, collaboration and information sharing that bring down the costs and barriers to financial inclusion across the ecosystem,” said Greg McCormick, Chief Strategic Business Development Officer, Sybrin, a Mojaloop Foundation member.
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