A graphical version of these slides are also available here.


Pindar Wong

African ICT Week

አዲስ አበባ


December 5th  2013

CC By-3.0 HK


A.F.R.I.C.A.N. ICT Strategy:

Africa-Asia Cooperation

From Mobile Payment to Web Payments


A.F.R.I.C.A.N. Strategy

  • A        frican 

  • F        inancial 

  • R        evolution 

  • I        n 

  • C        reating 

  • A        rgent *  

  • N        etworks 



Internet Payment (IP) Networks

  • African Track Record in Mobile Payment Technology  

    • e.g. M-pesa in Kenya 

    • Both in Technology Development and Policy Support 

    • Key: Financial transaction costs are not core business of mobile phone companies.  

    • Key: Use Internet's 'permissionless innovation' open standards-based model 

      • No royalties or encumbered Intellectual Property 

    • Key: Use Internet as a 'platform for trade'  

      • e.g. Hong Kong World Leader in Mobile and Broadband Internet → Intellectual Property Trading Exchanges Need Internet payment  

  • Observe: Existing Global Payment Network 




Financial Innovation (Traditional)

    • Driven by existing  Banks and Financial Institutions 

    • Incremental Innovation at the edge of the existing banking network (e.g. SWIFT) 

    • Extremely expensive to do given legacy systems and technology 

    • Slow to evolve 

    • Highly regulated by existing Government Policy e.g. 'Know Your Customer' rules in developed economies 



Financial Innovation (Transformative)

    • Driven by Technology Companies not Banks 

    • Transformative Innovation at the core of the existing Internet network 

    • Inexpensive to do - no legacy systems and technology to 'protect' 

    • Fast to evolve 

    • Regulated by existing Government Policy? e.g. 'Know Your Customer' rules  


World Wide Web (W3C) Consortium
Web Payments

  • Developing Global Standard for Sending Argent/Money over the Web  

    • Send money as easy as sending an email 

  • W3C Web Payments Chair: Mr. Manu Sporny  msporny@digitalbazaar.com  

  • Address Demand / Financial Freedom 

    • 2.5 billion adults without bank accounts  

  • Exploit Emerging Trends 

    • 'Mobile First' Strategy (not 'Mobile Also' Strategy) 

    • Information Reuse – e.g. trends in Open Licencing  

    • Cryptographic Currencies e.g. (Bitcoin). 

    • Heavy Hitters Entering: Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, FF Angel IV, IDG Capital Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Vast Ventures, and Bitcoin Opportunity Fund  Backed 'Ripple' Protocol 

  • Works Today: Payswarm , Mozilla's FirefoxOS 

    • e.g. Firefox Browser 400+ million users 

    • Develop for the World Wide Web/Internet  Platform 

    • Or individual mobile platform? 


W3C Web Payments Roadmap

  • 2008: Work on a universal Web payment standard begins. World standard: RDFa 

  • 2009: First open specifications for PaySwarm released to the public. Work on JSON-LD begins. LD = Linked Data  

    • e.g. Public Sector Information 

  • 2011: First working implementation and launch of experimental W3C Web Payments group. 

  • 2012: Web Payments work expands into portable identity, secure financial messaging. 

  • 2013: 100+ Web Payments group members (including Mozilla, Bloomberg, Bitcoin, Ripple) 

  • 2013: PaySwarm presented at World Banking Conference, SWIFT, IGF, W3C Technical Plenary. World standard: JSON-LD. 


Web Payments Roadmap

  • February 2014: World's first workshop on Web Payments (Paris) 

  • July 2014: W3C Web Payments Working Group Launches 

  • 2016: Web Payments specifications finalized 

  • 2017: First world standard for Web Payments 


A.F.R.I.C.A.N.  Ecosystem 2.0

  • AFRICA already has proven technology and policy leadership in mobile payment space 

  • Can leverage and lead this work 

  • Can foster internal/regional/international trade 

  • First mover advantage  

  • Can evolve at own pace 

  • Unencumbered with Legacy Systems 

  • Edge Background Video here 


AFRICA – ASIA Collaboration


Next Steps?


Join Internet Governance Ecosystem Discussions!


Thank you!