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A SIM Overlay Platform to Extend Phone Payments Offline

Ross Anderson at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom will develop technology to enable secure offline phone-to-phone and card-to-phone payments between customers and merchants. The ability to use mobile phones to make and receive payments has expanded access to secure financial services in low-resource settings. However, the requirement of a network connection makes it particularly problematic in rural communities. They will develop SIM overlay technology, modern cryptography and audio coupling to securely transfer payments offline also from a SIM format payment card for those without a phone. Merchants can then bank the payments periodically whenever they have a network connection. They will evaluate their prototype for usability and security, and work towards interoperability across countries so that migrant workers can also use it.

More information about Enable Merchant Acceptance of Mobile Money Payments (Round 15)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.