Paper: Digital Finance Interoperability & Financial Inclusion

Friday, December 23, 2016

Interoperability—the ability for different systems to connect with one another—is attracting a lot of attention among digital finance experts. Interoperable payment systems have the potential to make it easier for people to send payments to anyone and receive payments from anyone quickly and cheaply. Financial service providers welcome the new business opportunities that would emerge from this higher volume of transactions, and policy makers see interoperability as a means to bring more poor people into the financial system, thus fostering financial inclusion.

To better understand the global landscape in regard to interoperability, CGAP commissioned Glenbrook Partners to conduct a 20-country scan that assesses the state of interoperability in select markets. The study focused on payments from and to small-value transactional accounts that are accessible to mass-market consumers. For comparability, the scan defined interoperability as the ability for a digital financial service account to make specific kinds of transactions across two or more providers.

For the scan, researchers gathered high-level data and identified three broad types of interoperability:

Source: CGAP (link opens in a new window)

digital payments, financial inclusion, fintech