Stellar, the Stripe-backed open-source payment network, has launched its first major integration in the form of a partnership with Oradian, a company that sells cloud-based software to micro finance institutions (MFIs) in developing countries.
As a refresher, Stellar is a non-profit foundation with the goal of connecting different financial systems around the world. Started by the original creator of Mt. Gox, Stellar first launched by openly distributing Lumens (the platform’s digital currency) to anyone that signed up online.
However, the platform has since shifted its focus onto facilitating the exchange of existing currencies, essentially becoming an open-source SWIFT.
For its first real-world test, Stellar decided to tackle a very real problem – money transfer in rural Nigeria. Today, the foundation announced the launch of a new payment-transfer network inside Oradian, built on top of Stellar’s platform.
By integrating the Stellar platform into their core software, Oradian will allow 300,000 Nigerians to cheaply transfer money between MFIs over the Stellar network.
Joyce Kim, Executive Director of Stellar, explained that the partnership will bring the first live money transfer network to Nigeria. “With the Oradian integration, communities that primarily relied upon cash for money transfer in and out of their villages can now transfer money instantly and safely, regardless of their location”.
A Map of all MFI branches participating in the launch of the new program
So why Nigeria? The foundation explained that Nigeria not only has the largest economy in Africa, but also has the largest population. But, despite these numbers, the nation remains economically isolated from the rest of the world.
So while the program is initially focused on transmitting money within the country, its eventual goal is to allow safe and affordable remittance across borders, all on top of the Stellar network.