This week we’re highlighting our ILF Financial Services CFP 2022 Cohort. We take a look at several of the current cohort's interim reports and encourage you to take a deeper dive to learn more about each project, leave a comment and ask questions.
These funded projects range from a coalition of credit unions in rural Mexico, tooling to measure impact investing, a program to facilitate cross-border small business loans, and other ideas to expand how people can benefit from the Interledger Protocol.
Snake Nation is a mission driven, culture content and tech company, focused on creating economic opportunities for young M2 (multicultural millennial) creators through a frictionless and diverse digital and creative economy.
The past weeks have been full of interesting insights and learnings, interviews and brainstorm sessions. We have conducted extensive research and talked to various experts from inside and outside of our network. After this research phase is completed we will proceed to flesh out the roll-out strategy for building a Tier 1 ILSP infrastructure within our AASU (All-African Student Union) ecosystem.
We have had two main takeaways from this research period so far. First, there is a focus for African-led tech solutions to be utilized in the push for AfCFTA. And secondly, in order to build a Tier 1 network we may need to leverage hardware just as much as cloud infrastructure. Providing ILP node access to users via a device simplifies the installation and therefore accelerates adoption and dissemination in the regions we are trying to reach.
The development of this platform is still early, however by adding it to our regulatory tool kit now we are able to navigate early. We also have identified individuals that are helping to close the knowledge gap of regulatory requirements to gaining clarity for the node network. For faster go-to-market, financial service providers can use this platform to streamline regulatory engagement and compliance reporting. The Digital Regulatory Sandbox and presents an opportunity to test new products and services with regulatory supervision while addressing issues before the product or service is offered on a wider scale.
The People's Clearinghouse is a social innovation project to benefit the broader public, specifically rural and indigenous people who have organized themselves into co-ops.
The biggest win we’ve had is the constant validation of the project. The community banks we work with are not used to international forums or Central Bank meetings. They feel they don’t belong there. But with the help of the Interledger Foundation we’ve had the chance to tell the story of AMUCSS and how we can foster the impact of those community banks using open-sourced technology and innovation. First the Interledger Summit in New Orleans, then a meeting with the Bank for International Settlements, then another one with the vice-governor of Mexico’s Central Bank, then several others. We’ve left each and all presentations feeling we’re on the right path, and we’ve communicated that to the network of community banks which believe each day more and more in an innovative project whose impact wasn’t initially obvious to them.
But when getting into details, things got complicated. The authorities at the top of the Central Bank might have liked our project, but the bureaucratic structure still reigns and community banks are hardly considered real banking structures in standard executive meetings. So we’ve had to study tons of laws, rules, norms, and start understanding non-published customs and limitations. The ILP-SPEI implementation (SPEI is Mexico’s Central Bank RTGS system), for instance, seemed for the Central Bank like good wishes that would never actually take place. But that view changed when we brought forward a Mojaloop clearinghouse, explaining how it uses ILP and how we could eventually use ILP for remittances (as long as the settlement question is solved). So we’ve had to turn around difficulties to keep our objectives intact.
We are tightly following our timeline concerning legal procedures and technological research. We have a team studying the ILP and Mojaloop, and perfecting our model, and we will produce a pilot clearinghouse in the coming weeks. We’re only late in the business model itself, since we cannot yet be sure of a realistic budget for the implementation process of the hardware and software components of the clearinghouse and the costs that community banks and/or people can absorb for the new services the clearinghouse will provide.
Kult is a social platform for curating movies, TV series, books, podcasts, and songs that promote diverse cultural exchange between people and communities. With the mission of bringing value to human curation, it aims to create an open-source digital wallet that any platform can easily replicate.
[SPOILER ALERT > TLDR] Please find our digital wallet technical document, split into 3 parts, plus user flowchart, in this link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1BOIBYm77jpP78M4wqJQrB5dB2kp_RvTP?usp=sharing]
Hi everyone! We are glad to share with you the latest developments on Kult.
Our main goal is to develop an open-source digital wallet that integrates ILP with Brazilian PIX.
PIX is an instant and free 24/7 money transfer method offered by the Central Bank of Brazil to individuals and legal entities. PIX has a free API created by the Central Bank of Brazil, which allows for integration (see https://www.bcb.gov.br/content/estabilidadefinanceira/pix/API-DICT.html).
With such a technology, it will be possible to pay using debit/credit card and receive money through PIX (available in Brazilian territory only), instantly. Compared to the current Web Monetization solution, our digital wallet aims to eliminate several UX barriers users have right now, making the payment through ILP a smooth experience within the platform.
Naturally, the digital wallet we are developing will be accessible to any developer, meaning that anyone will be able to implement such a solution in their platforms, probably having to adapt a few local partners.
CryptoSavannah is a digital transformation company building technology solutions and providing advisory services to usher Africa into the digital economy. The Universal Wallet (https://community.interledger.org/binusu) is a solution that addresses problems of delays, inefficiency, and inadequacy of existing programs in loyalty and rewards programs. The solution is a single digital wallet, a simple mobile application on a phone where rewards are captured and easily managed.
We have been working on milestone 3- Design; working on development of the functional specifications for the both the mobile and browser application interfaces. We identified and categorized software development and service level requirements into four priorities i.e. mandatory, desirable, standard and customization required, which were matched with the conducted needs assessment. Our next milestone is to develop the code for the prototype to check if it fits in the designed specifications.
On financial inclusion, we conducted research and involved the retail supermarkets who are stakeholders to design an application that is user friendly, easy to understand and compatible to their current vendor/sales management system, so that the awarded points on sales captured can easily be converted to crypto or fiat and used to make more purchases. The vendor's customers should also be able to use the accumulated points on their wallets to pay for and access services from other retailers like airtime or data from their telecom operator and utility payments to utility service providers.
On cost saving, the wallet which is built on blockchain will be integrated to Binusu Merchant services, an internal crypto exchange backend to reduce on costs incurred in conversion and transfer of the two currencies. BMS will store the money on points awarded in a native stable coin Binusu, to allow faster and seamless transfer of value. Both the vendor and customer will benefit from minimized loss on money incurred in transaction processing and payment.
Wallet Guru is an American financial technology company operating digital currency payment solutions with an initial focus on Latin America. The company is developing a payment streaming platform called Paystreme (https://community.interledger.org/paystreme) that enables users to pay in real-time for services.
The Paystreme project is going well and progressing as planned. We continued researching the regional market trends and concluded once again that LatAm's history of economic and political uncertainty creates a fertile ground for innovative digital payments and the internet of value to thrive. We have also made considerable progress in understanding the intricacies of the ILP and researching for potential vendors, partners, and/or developers, to form part of the team that would be responsible for developing the prototype. Lastly, we are proud to announce that we recently won an award from the Stellar Development Foundation, which will also be supporting us in making Paystreme fully operational.
- Our platform must offer a turn-key solution for utility companies that wish to enter the Fintech industry and must also be capable of integrating into existing mobile money platforms. The ILP is ideal for obtaining this interoperability.
- The solution must offer both cash and local fiat on/off ramps. Fiat ramps must be present in the US and local countries in LatAm.
- Wallets must support local currency and a stablecoin pegged to a hard currency (preferably to the US dollar - USDC running on the Stellar blockchain being the ideal candidate for numerous reasons).
- Wallets must be able to stream funds to utility companies as services are requested.
- As a medium term objective, we will incorporate a liquidity management tool such as Ripple's Liquidity Hub to optimize the flow of funds between currencies and jurisdictions.
AgnostiPay's open-source technology allows the community of developers to take control of payments and enable Self-Sovereign Payments for their end-users - empowered by ILP.
Hi there! In this first Progress Report we will provide an enriched summary of our previous Monthly updates and add some updates that happened during January. All the previous monthly reports of our Financial Service Research Grant you can read back here: https://community.interledger.org/agnostipay
With AgnostiPay we are creating decentralised open-source payment connector middleware (or technically an SDK) that any developer can add to their own app, website or SaaS platform. The AgnostiPay library is open to any developer to easily add their own local financial payment service provider, which then in turn can be used by any other developer worldwide.
In our original research proposal we set out to validate three objectives. The most important one was getting technical feasibility of our specific solution, that in contrast to current financial service solutions in the market, runs completely client-side and peer-to-peer. Our technical fully open-source solution allows the end-user (whether that is for example a webshop owner or a mobile app user) to take control of their own financial service providers (e.g. banks, exchanges or wallets), and manage their own internal transaction flows through their own services and enabling payment streaming to ILP enabled providers. We just finished our first technical demo that demonstrates the value of both an AgnostiPay webshop and a mobile app use-case - and currently is live for a local Dutch bank.
BessPay is an affordable subscription-based content monetization & hassle-free payment service for creators in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. It connects creators to Interledger Protocol-enabled platforms and services through Mobile Carrier Billing & other local digital payment solutions.
Project Update - Grantee Interim Report
BessPay will develop and deliver a comprehensive subscription solution for digital content creators in the Caribbean starting with Jamaica and expanding to the other islands over eighteen (18) months.
Our work started on October 3rd, 2022 with the assembling and mobilization of a 10-person highly experienced multi-disciplinary Consulting & Advisory Team established to guide and provide critical support to the 4-person Core Research & Development Team.
Over the past 4 months (Oct 2022 to Jan 2023) significant progress has been achieved in our research & planning including the completion of BessPay's Technology Architecture Design, MVP Roadmap for the Prototype Stage and identifying the real needs and wants of Caribbean Creators through a Pilot Creator Survey (where over 83% of respondents indicated their need for a creator ecosystem).
Our objectives are centered on conducting the research necessary to establish the viability, efficacy, and soundness of the BessPay solution. This research & planning will end on April 3 2023 with the completion of 3 critical operational plans: a Business Plan, a Technology Plan and a Legal & Regulatory Compliance & Risk Mitigation Strategic Plan. These plans will also guide the compilation of the final project report to the Interledger Foundation (ILF).
Work has been progressing satisfactorily on 8 internal supporting documents that will guide the validity and creation of our 3 critical operational plans, these documents are - 1) Problem Investigation & Market Research, 2) Compelling Use Case for the ILP Web Service*, 3) Strategic Marketing & Public Relations, 4) Overall Budget & Pricing Strategy, 5)Technology Work Schedule, 6) Technology Budget, 7) Regulatory Policy, Rules & Strategy, 8) Security & Data Privacy Protection.
Stay tuned, we’ll be back next week with updates and more from our community!