By Juliet Umeh
Mobile network operators worldwide, the GSMA have launched a mobile money interoperability testing platform, ITP.
The mobile money was designed to provide an open, secure environment for operators, financial providers and other stakeholders to trial systems ahead of full deployment.
It was developed by the GSMA’s Inclusive Technology Lab and uses the trade association’s mobile money APIs alongside open source software from Mojaloop, an organisation backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
A beta of the ITP was released in March, with limited functionality available since then. The platform offers an environment for operators, digital financial services
companies and third party providers to test software in an end-to-end ecosystem covering a wide range of mobile money use cases.
Director of inclusive financial technology at the GSMA, Bart-Jan Pors, said interoperability was one of the key factors driving growth within the mobile money industry.
He said: “Provided interoperability initiatives address appropriate governance and commercial structures for all ecosystem participants, they enable transactions between providers, but also compatibility with wider ecosystem players such as financial institutions.”
Pors added the testing facility would help “ensure all the plumbing between systems is working properly”.
In addition to preparing players for deployment, the platform is designed to help promote interoperability itself by showcasing the benefits to stakeholders and developers.
Mojaloop Foundation chairman Kosta Peric also said technology is often cited as a barrier during his organisation’s work with central banks, governments and private sector companies on digital financial inclusion.
Peric said: “Having real-time retail platforms that connect to merchants is a relatively skilled IT endeavour.”