Stellar, a US-based nonprofit technology provider, and Oradian, a Croatia-based software developer serving financial organizations in West Africa, are setting up a “payment transfer network” to connect rural Nigerian microfinance institutions (MFIs). The network will act as a digital ledger, through which one MFI could issue a certain amount of money, and another could accept it. Each party would have money on deposit to guarantee the transaction. The network is expected to reach 200 branches serving approximately 300,000 clients.
Joyce Kim, the CEO of Stellar, said: “To move money from one microfinance institution (MFI) to another, people put money in a bag, and then they would put that bag on a bus, and that bus could take 12 hours to get where it needed to go. It’s obviously not safe, it’s not fast, it’s not efficient, and it has become more unsafe as the local political situation worsened with Boko Haram. Oradian started to tackle that problem and that’s how they found us.”
As of March 2016, the Stellar payment network holds 100 trillion lumen, its digital currency; this total is valued at USD 206 billion. As of the same date, Oradian reports that its service has 500.000 users.
By Kevin van den Brink, Research Associate
Sources and Additional Resources
 International Business Times, News, “Leaping into the future: Nigeria’s rural microfinance community gets connected using Stellar and Oradian”
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