Bangladeshi worker coloring and drying cloth material, Bangladesh. Photo by Sohel Parvez Haque, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest Photo by Sohel Parvez Haque, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest

Beyond Switches, What Makes Interoperability Work?

Today, mobile technologies provide the primary onramp for large numbers of people in developing markets to access and use financial services. But for customers it can be a fragmented experience.  Many network operators and banks operate in silos, their services connected only bilaterally or in brokered ways. These limited, uncoordinated approaches to interoperability create inconsistent customer experiences, limit regulatory oversight, and often fail to deliver essential services for poor people.  

CGAP's interoperability work seeks to help low-income users transact more easily across digital financial services networks. Our research shows there is no one road for countries or a group of companies to building effective interoperable systems.  Different countries choose different paths.  But it is clear that exchanging payments is about much more than simply building the technical connections. Interoperability also requires effective governance, clear operating rules, and business agreements on how to support safe and reliable connections. Effective interoperability requires good governance, practical economic agreements, and sufficient support from policy makers to ensure safe and reliable connections.

Explore Solutions in 20 Countries Around the World
Learn Ways to Implement Interoperability
Blog

Interoperability makes it possible for customers to transact freely without compatibility issues, but its benefits don't end there. Here are three ways interoperability can advance financial inclusion.
Blog

Payment schemes like Visa and Mastercard emerged from banks agreeing to the terms needed to safely and efficiently exchange payments. What rules should digital payments providers follow?
Blog

Interoperability in digital payments hinges on more than the right technology. It also requires the right balance of economic incentives for participants.
Blog

For interoperability to work, technology must do more than move transactions from Point A to Point B. It must be optimized to ensure security, encourage use, promote innovation and handle the inevitable time when something goes wrong.
Blog

Kenyans can now send money between the country's two largest digital wallet services, Airtel and M-Pesa, the latest step toward interoperability in East Africa.