The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the launch of a service today that it created with in partnership with Dwolla, along with collaboration with Ripple, Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox, and Software Group. The new tool is an open-source code for creating a payments infrastructure intended for unbanked populations.
Called Mojaloop, the system is named after the Swahili word for “one.” The program is aimed to empower local, unbanked communities by offering a single, secure, digital payment method that replaces the use of cash, which is inconvenient and often insecure. The code is secure and interoperable and can be used at scale to serve an entire country or region, and the open-source nature enables developers to build, enhance, or adapt the code to suit specific needs.
“Imagine your life without banking. How would you pay your bills? Or store your money for safe-keeping? For two billion people around the world, these challenges are very real,” the launch video for Mojaloop begins. It goes on to explain that the service helps users spend and save money easily and securely, while offering financial providers access to a group of new clients. Mojaloop has three main layers:
An interoperability layer, which facilitates payments made among various services, including bank accounts, and mobile money accounts.
A directory service layer, which is responsible for routing each payment to the correct provider
A transaction settlement layer, which records each transaction in each provider’s master ledger
Before creating Mojaloop, Dwolla undertook market research that took “countless calls, work-sessions, and meetings” to curate. The company described Mojaloop as “a true victory for the development of global payments” and said that the project “evens the playing field, so everyone can benefit from the sophistication of a ubiquitous payments infrastructure.”
Participating in the Mojaloop project, Dwolla said it drew from its experience in creating FiSync, and leveraged ideas from its Fast Payments Proposal. In a blog post announcing the launch, the company said, “As an organization, we are excited to see where the Gates Foundation and the open-source community, continues to strive to find a payments solution for the betterment of the global economy.”
Dwolla, which most recently demoed FiSync at FinovateSpring 2015, was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Earlier this summer, the company added a multi-user feature to its Access API dashboard. In May, Dwolla teamed up with Plaid to offer a fully tokenized ACH payment integration. Ben Milne is founder and CEO.
One of the first rules of basic economics is that incentives matter. Blockchain solutions company Ripple must be privy to this rule because the California-based company today unveiled a new accelerator program and marketing incentives to promote bank interest.
The company announced it will now offer a reward for banks that are the first in their markets to process and promote commercial payments on RippleNet, the company’s enterprise blockchain solution that connects banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and businesses. Banks will be rewarded in the form of rebates, funded through $300 million worth of XRP.
The program is intended to accelerate adoption and usage of Ripple and is two-fold– consisting of a Volume Rebate and an Adoption Marketing Incentive. The Volume Rebate program offers rebates to RippleNet members once they’ve achieved integration and volume milestones by predetermined deadlines. The rebates are issued either in XRP or USD and depend on the volume, but vary from covering 50% to 300% of the integration and first-year license fees.
The Adoption Marketing Incentive is available on a first-come, first-serve basis and matches financial institutions’ marketing spend used to promote Ripple products to their end clients. Ripple will also support efforts by providing marketing content and messaging framework and tools. For both programs, selling restrictions are in place to support a healthy XRP market.
Monica Long, VP of Marketing at Ripple, likened the incentive program to PayPal’s early adoption and referral bonuses. Long said, “Since we’re offering the incentives in XRP, we anticipate seeing an added benefit of building an easy on-ramp for institutions to use XRP in their payment flows to lower liquidity cost in the future.” Long added that the reception of the incentive programs was “very positive” in early testing.
Company co-founder Chris Larsen, who debuted Ripple (originally known as OpenCoin) at FinovateSpring 2013.Brad Garlinghouse took the reins as Ripple CEO last fall. The company made headlines this spring when it partnered with BBVA to complete an international money transfer using RippleNet. In July, Ripple expanded its suite of offerings that support XRP and last month the company selected Singapore for its new Asia office location.
Blockchain solutions company Ripple is bolstering its presence in Asia this week with the launch of an office in Singapore.
In a blog post, Ripple said that it selected Singapore to support its growing Asia Pacific customers, including Standard Chartered. The company also notes it favored Singapore because of its “publicly stated ambitions to be the world’s leading fintech and innovation hub,” adding that it is “one of the biggest and busiest global trade centers with many large, multinational companies basing their regional treasury offices in the country.”
Dilip Rao, managing director for Ripple APAC said, “As a leading trade and fintech hub, Singapore offers Ripple leverage in the region as we expand our global footprint.” And in fact the company said that it is already experiencing “huge” demand for its blockchain payments solution from local banks and payment providers across the broader region.
This announcement comes weeks after the San Francisco-based company opened an office in Mumbai, India and adds to Ripple’s list of offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Sydney, and Luxembourg.
Last fall, the company appointed Brad Garlinghouse as CEO, who filled the seat of co-founder Chris Larsen. Larsen debuted Ripple (originally known as OpenCoin) at FinovateSpring 2013. In addition to making headlines for its rapid growth during the first half of this year, Ripple also made the news this spring when it partnered with BBVA to complete an international money transfer using RippleNet. In July, Ripple expanded its suite of offerings that support its digital currency, XRP. The company has raised more than $93 million.
Earlier this year, CB Insights took a look at where fifteen of the top European banks were spending their investment dollars. The result is an interesting portrait of an industry appears very committed to three areas of fintech in particular: blockchain, financial services software, and Regtech. Of the 15 banks represented in CB Insights’ survey, all but one had invested in R3, the blockchain consortium, with ten banks investing in financial services software companies, and eight banks funding Regtech firms.
Also noteworthy is the presence of ten Finovate/FinDEVr alums among the investments. Symphony Software Foundation, an alum of our developer’s conference, FinDEVr, was the alum with the most support from among the 15 European banks. Santander was the bank with the broadest support among our alum community, backing six out of the 11 alums listed.
What’s in a name? Blockchain solutions company Ripple is about to find out. Today, the company has unveiled a new name for its existing global payments network, as well as a handful of new solutions.
RippleNet, the global payments network, has more than 90 customers and is undergoing more than 75 commercial deployments. The network’s digital asset, XRP, was listed by five new exchanges in the second quarter of this year, which resulted in $11.06 billion worth of XRP transactions. By the end of the second quarter, XRP had risen by 11.6x from the previous quarter and by 39.8x year-to-date.
The San Francisco-based company structured a suite of offerings in support of XRP:
xCurrent is a payments processing solution powered by the Interledger Protocol (ILP). The enterprise software solution allows financial institutions to instantly send and receive international payments. The payments include end-to-end tracking and bi-directional messaging, as well as standardized transactions through a Rulebook.
xRapid leverages XRP to lower the liquidity costs of payments in emerging markets. xRapid is currently still in development, but the company anticipates more developments over the coming months.
xVia is a payments interface available in an API that allows users to send international payments through a bank or payment provider on RippleNet. xVia is also in development and will offer users transparency into their transaction as well as the ability to attach invoices and other rich payment details.
In a blog post announcing the change, Ripple VP of Product Asheesh Birla explained how these developments are all aimed at helping Ripple move toward its singular goal of creating the Internet of Value (IoV). “Our products are coming together (and growing) to support our one, single vision,” Birla said.
Last fall, the company appointed Brad Garlinghouse as CEO, who filled the seat of Chris Larsen who co-founded the company in 2012. Larsen debuted Ripple (originally known as OpenCoin) at FinovateSpring 2013. In addition to making headlines for its rapid growth during the first half of this year, Ripple also made the news this spring when it partnered with BBVA to complete an international money transfer using RippleNet. The company has raised more than $93 million.