The GDC Blog

Recently, I came across an article that describes how three of the mobile money platforms in Tanzania have signed a partnership that will allow for inter-network transfers.  This type of cross platform connection will allow for diaspora networks to more easily conduct transfers between family members. Furthermore, this will allow for increased business trade around the country.

The bigger picture is the expansion of interoperability across the borders of other African nations and further, globally. This would enable a growth in global payments and, in parallel, growth in cross border commerce.

Years ago, family members who moved abroad engaged in transactions with other family members in two ways. Funds were sent home primarily via Western Union or via informal money transfer networks. Physical commerce transactions occurred via trips home where family members would transport items back in order to sell and distribute to family members.

In today’s economy, mobile money interoperability would allow for family members to send money electronically regardless of platforms and also allow for the purchase/delivery of physical items on local e-commerce sites. This advancement will greatly enhance the level of cross border trade via e-commerce in those countries.

Global connectivity really only works when platforms are open and interoperable versus closed systems. Tanzania is a first step towards what I hope is greater connectivity and more enriched lives.

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