Partnership for Financial Inclusion: Interoperability

© FSDT Tanzania  

Mobile money interoperability allows customers of different mobile financial services providers to interact with each other, for example by making direct payments from the mobile money account of one provider to the mobile money account of another provider. It can benefit consumers and businesses and contribute to increased financial inclusion. In recent years, various development organisations, industry bodies, regulators and markets have embarked on enabling mobile money interoperability between digital financial services providers in different markets across the globe.

In September 2014 the mobile financial services industry in Tanzania signed its first agreement on interoperability, making Tanzania one of the first countries in the world with an industry-agreed interoperable market for mobile financial services. IFC facilitated the negotiations that led to the agreement and continues to work with the market in Tanzania to deepen and strengthen digital financial services interoperability. Here, the team shares some of its insights and materials gained and created in the process for the public good.


Achieving Interoperability in Mobile Financial Services

This case study articulates the approach and process followed by IFC, when it acted as the agnostic facilitator between the industry participants in Tanzania to draft rule sets for different transaction types, often called Operating Rules or Automated Clearing House (ACH) agreements, or payment streams relating to mobile money interoperability.

Rules of Interoperability

As markets develop and digital financial services deepen and mature, development organisations, industry bodies, regulators or industry actors themselves may embark on similar interoperability initiatives. The links below provide examples of relevant interoperability rule sets that could be used as a baseline for discussion to enable markets to move towards implementing interoperability.

Examples Of:
User Insights in Enabling Interoperable Mobile Money Merchant Payments in Tanzania

The ability for customers to pay electronically for goods and services at physical retailers is a cornerstone of the modern economy, and hundreds of millions of dollars of such “merchant payments” are conducted daily.  This report explores how best to enable interoperable merchant payments through mobile money in Tanzania, based on quantitative and qualitative user research.



If you have any queries please contact Anna Koblanck.