ITU works to improve m-payment interoperability

The ITU is working to ensure the interoperability of mobile and digital payment services, particularly in emerging markets, and has published the first reports produced from these efforts.

The UN body's Focus Group on Digital Financial Services has published two reports to help address interoperability challenges.

With the reports, the first outputs produced by the group's Working Group on Interoperability, the ITU aims to address the fact that very few mobile payment schemes in some of the world's poorest countries are fully interoperable.

The first report analyzes access to payment infrastructure issues around the world, and how these can adversely impact interoperability.

It notes that while non-banks are playing an increasingly important role in payments - particularly for the world's roughly 2 billion un-banked or underbanked inhabitants - many of these non-bank companies are not accepted as direct participants of key payment infrastructure.

“Payment system regulators and policy makers, in particular Central Banks who typically act as the lead payment system overseer in each country, can better support the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population by promoting a competitive and dynamic payment services industry which includes non-traditional providers,” commented Focus Group chairman Sacha Polverini.

The second report analyzes the role key public and private sector stakeholders can play in the development of national payment systems, particularly for retail payments.

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