# General FAQs
This document contains some of the most frequently asked questions from the community.
# 1. What is Mojaloop?
Mojaloop is open-source software for building interoperable digital payments platforms on a national scale. It makes it easy for different kinds of providers to link up their services and deploy low-cost financial services in new markets.
# 2. How does it work?
Most digital financial providers run on their own networks, which prevents customers who use different services from transacting with each other. Mojaloop functions like a universal switchboard, routing payments securely between all customers, regardless of which network they're on. It consists of three primary layers, each with a specific function: an interoperability layer, which connects bank accounts, mobile money wallets, and merchants in an open loop; a directory service layer, which navigates the different methods that providers use to identify accounts on each side of a transaction; a transactions settlement layer, which makes payments instant and irrevocable; and components which protect against fraud.
# 3. Who is it for?
There are many components to the code, and everyone either directly or indirectly working with digital financial transactions-fintech developers, bankers, entrepreneurs, startups-is invited to explore and use whatever parts are useful or appealing. The software as a whole is meant to be implemented on a national scale, and so it will be most applicable to mobile money providers, payments associations, central banks, and country regulators.
Developers at fintech and financial services companies can use the code in three ways: adapt the code to the financial services standards for a country, use the code to update their own products and services or create new ones, and improve the code by proposing updates and new versions of it for other users.
- A central bank may commission the use of the software by their commercial partners to speed up the deployment of a national payment gateway.
- A major payment processor can use the software to modernize their current offering, to achieve lower transaction costs without major R&D investments.
- A fintech startup can use the code to understand practically how to comply with interoperable payment APIs.
- A bank can use the code to modify their internal systems so that they easily interoperate with other payment providers.
# 4. Why does it exist?
Providers trying to reach developing markets with innovative, low-cost digital financial services have to build everything on their own. This raises costs and segregates services from each other. Mojaloop can be used as a foundation to help build interoperable platforms, lowering costs for providers and allowing them to integrate their services with others in the market.
# 5. Who's behind it?
Mojaloop was built in collaboration with a group of leading tech and fintech companies: Ripple (opens new window), Dwolla (opens new window), Software Group (opens new window), ModusBox (opens new window) and Crosslake Technologies (opens new window). Mojaloop was created by the Gates Foundation's Mojaloop, which is aimed at leveling the economic playing field by crowding in expertise and resources to build inclusive payment models to benefit the world's poor. It is free to the public as open-source software under the Apache 2.0 License (opens new window).
# 6. What platforms does Mojaloop run on?
The Mojaloop platform was developed for modern cloud-computing environments. Open-source methods and widely used platforms, like Node.js, serve as the foundation layer for Mojaloop. The microservices are packaged in Docker and can be deployed to local hardware or to cloud computing environments like Amazon Web Services or Azure.
# 7. Is it really open-source?
Yes, it is really open-source. All core modules, documentation and white papers are available under a Apache 2.0 License (opens new window). Mojaloop relies on commonly used open-source software, including node.js, MuleCE, Java and PostgreSQL. Mojaloop also uses the Interledger Protocol (opens new window) to choreograph secure money transfers. The licenses for all of these platforms and their imported dependencies allow for many viable uses of the software.
# 8. How can I contribute to Mojaloop?
You can contribute by helping us create new functionality on our roadmap or by helping us improve the platform. For our roadmap, go to the Mojaloop Roadmap. We recommend starting with the onboarding guide and sample problem. This has been designed by the team to introduce the core ideas of the platform and software, the build methods, and our process for check-ins.
# 9. Using Mojaloop to do payment using crypto-currency?
Not with the current Specification and with this platform. Currently this is limited to currencies listed in the ISO 4217. Since the specification and platform is all about digital transfers, it should be possible to investigate a use-case for this possible requirement. Alternatively, I guess an FSP can provide that conversion (like many do already from crypto to one of the listed currencies).
# 10. How is the Mojaloop source accessible?
Here are some resources to start with:
- Docs: https://github.com/mojaloop/documentation.
- Look at the repos that have “CORE COMPONENT (Mojaloop)” in the description and these are core components. “CORE RELATED (Mojaloop)” repos are the ones that are needed to support the current Mojaloop Switch implementation/deployment.
- As a generic point of note, for latest code, please use the ‘develop’ branch for the time-being.
- Current architecture: https://github.com/mojaloop/docs/tree/master/Diagrams/ArchitectureDiagrams. Please note that these are currently being migrated to https://github.com/mojaloop/documents.
- You may use this for current deployment architecture and deployment information: https://github.com/mojaloop/documentation/tree/master/deployment-guide.