Two of Africa’s largest mobile operators and mobile money providers (Orange Group and MTN Group) have announced they will use Mojaloop, an open source financial services technology sponsored by the Gates Foundation. The two companies call their joint venture Mowali (mobile wallet interoperability), which will make it possible to send money between mobile money accounts issued by any mobile money provider in real time and at a low cost. It is estimated that Mowali has the potential to eventually reach 338 million users across Africa.
Africa has been a world leader in mobile payments, and the introduction of Mawali is expected to increase the usage of mobile money and make it a universal means of payment throughout Africa. This, in turn, will have the result of increasing financial inclusion, an essential element in economic development.