Mobile Financial Services: Accessing Levels of Interoperability

Understanding the concept of interoperability and discussing a framework to measure its extent
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This guideline note aims to provide members of the Access for Financial inclusion (AFI) network with a framework to assess the degree of interoperability in their respective markets and prioritize appropriate policy responses. The framework aims to clarify the complex issue of benchmarking interoperability and establish a shared understanding and vocabulary that enables peer learning within the network. The guideline is based on the CGAP's study on interoperability in Pakistan, which presents a three-step process for policymakers to more effectively assess the degree of interoperability in their respective payment environment. Taken in sequence, each step helps to clarify the range of issues impacting the interoperation of retail payment systems. The note covers the following sections in detail: 
  • Rationale behind the note and a discussion on the importance of a common understanding of interoperability and interconnection;
  • Definition of the terms interoperability and interconnection and an analysis of the relationship between both terms;
  • Comparison of the extent of interoperability and interconnection in four countries: Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, and Tanzania;
  • Discussion on CGAP’s three step-process;
  • Application of CGAP’s framework to the case of Pakistan to assess the extent of interoperability in the country. 

About this Publication

By Mobile Financial Services Working Group (MFSWG)