Provide user choice
through interoperability

Silos prevent users from transacting freely or affordably across providers. These silos preclude digital payments from achieving more convenience, affordability and utility than cash.

For underserved populations, binding socio-economic constraints make this a particularly untenable prospect. For these users, the direct costs of surcharges on cross-provider transactions are galling.

Progress towards a more interconnected network of digital payments solutions has been steady. Acceleration is now required. The next evolution will witness the development of shared digital infrastructure and innovative new platforms.

Learn how to become ready, here.


Governments, companies and international development organizations can invest in shared infrastructure to reduce costs and increase access to digital payments at the last mile.

For governments and international development organizations, this includes creating shared interoperable identification and enrolment systems that can plug and play with national payment systems to improve inclusion and usage.

For companies, this entails collaborating with competitors to invest in common infrastructure requirements for digital payments such as merchant acceptance points at local retailers.


Tanzania’s mobile money regulations: Tanzania’s government engaged in dialogue to decide on rules and principles to govern interoperability. To accommodate diverse needs, the government engaged bilaterally with providers to align pricing structures.

ASEAN’s QR code standardization: To promote seamless cross-border payments, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) standardized QR codes across its 10 Member States. It set down broad norms governing QR standardization but gave individual countries freedom to forge bilateral agreements that met their needs.

WFP’s blockchain-based cash transfers in Bangladesh: The World Food Programme (WFP) created a shared database of humanitarian cash assistance programmes to collect disbursements from multiple agencies as a lump sum, using QR technology to facilitate a single transaction. The programme is a shared database of beneficiary information that is stored and encrypted using blockchain technology. These ‘blocks’ are available to humanitarian organizations as a common resource.

Singapore’s ecosystem-led innovation: The InnoLeap Programme enables public sector agencies to collaborate with research and higher learning institutes and commercial entities to co-create innovative technology solutions. It partners with trade associations and unions to test solutions before their release, allowing tailored solutions that drive uptake.