by Ken Weber on September 22, 2020
Q&A with Mojaloop Foundation Director Ken Weber, Head of Social Impact, Ripple
With the launch of the Mojaloop Foundation as a charitable organization to support the deployment of the Mojaloop open source software, the organization’s Sponsor members will take on the responsibilities of providing financial, technical and legal assistance to ensure the health and growth of the user community. Ripple has been involved with Mojaloop since its inception, providing technical advice and engineering support.
We recently interviewed Ken Weber, the head of Social Impact at Ripple. Weber will serve on the Mojaloop Foundation Board of Directors.
What led Ripple to first engage with Mojaloop and why did it become a Sponsor member of the Mojaloop Foundation?
KW: 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, which is making cross-border payments faster, cheaper and more reliable and accessible for hundreds of millions of consumers and businesses globally.
We view Mojaloop as a powerful open source software platform that promises to improve the interoperability of payments systems, making it easier and more affordable to send and receive money, especially in emerging markets. Ripple has been involved with the Mojaloop project since the start, providing technical advice and engineering support.
Ripple is proud to continue to collaborate with fellow Mojaloop Foundation Sponsor members in working towards a more inclusive future where everyone, everywhere can access digital financial services needed to connect to the global economy.
Why is financial inclusion critical to Ripple?
KW: Ripple’s founding vision is to enable the world to move value like information does today—a concept we refer to as the Internet of Value (IoV). This vision remains essential to Ripple’s foundation and contributes to its driving motivation to create greater economic opportunity for all.
Achieving universal financial inclusion is not a new aspiration, but a mission that many organizations, including Ripple, have been working towards for years. There has been significant progress—systemic barriers such as outdated payment infrastructures and challenges to interoperability are now being solved through emerging technologies, like blockchain and crypto. The penetration of mobile phones and digital wallets are increasing dramatically, enabling greater access to financial mobile applications. In addition, extreme poverty is reducing globally, with a significant decline in the share of the world’s population living on less than $1.90 a day—down from nearly 35% in 1987 to 10% today. These are powerful tailwinds.
However, the fact still remains that today’s global financial system does not equitably meet the needs of the 1.7B unbanked population, especially in regions like sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and East and Southeastern Asia.
How will the Mojaloop Foundation make an impact?
KW: Ending financial exclusion is achievable through a combination of innovative technology, market-based solutions and multi-sector partnerships. A thriving ecosystem of developers working to expand access to financial services—and market-based incentives to spur them on—is also a necessary ingredient. The Mojaloop Foundation, along with Ripple, is committed to working with stakeholders in places where we can make the greatest impact.
We look forward to participating in the Mojaloop Foundation’s efforts to engage and involve local developers and entrepreneurs—and to collaborate with central banks, financial institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—in harnessing the power of the Mojaloop platform to improve payment ecosystems.
About Ken Weber
Ken Weber serves as Head of Social Impact for Ripple, a leading fintech company working to transform the global financial system. Ken leads Ripple’s efforts to expand and accelerate financial inclusion and fairness globally. He is is a multi-sector leader known for working with innovative, mission-driven companies, organizations and individuals to create positive social and environmental impact at scale.