Sunday, November 22, 2009

What is it: Interoperable or interconnected mobile payments?

One of the biggest benefits that I have because of the wide readership that I have, is the interaction that I have from valued readers of the blog. The comments that I receive are so valuable and I would like to thank everyone that respond to my attempts at publishing something worthwhile. I received an e-mail from a good friend on my latest entry. I will quote a short paragraph:

"...there is a difference between interoperability ( connect components that interoperate) and interconnectedness (where systems are interconnected and are able to communicate between each other)". As is the case with all things, using the wrong terminology will confuse everyone. We must be succinct and accurate with what we say to ensure accurate understanding. (sometimes difficult for me considering that English is a second language). So should it be interoperate or interconnect. In order to answer the question, lets evaluate what I think we were talking about.

The term should describe the situation where one mobile banking subscriber on (lets say) system one can send or receive a payment from another subscriber on system two. These two systems (system one and system two), must be able to communicate/interact in such a way that payments can be cleared between the two subscribers. We would like to achieve this in such a way that system one and system two should not necessarily be connected, but that a transaction path must (at a minimum) exist between the two systems.

While I see that interoperate is not correct, I am not sure that interconnect describe this also. Maybe we need another term? Any suggestions?


Hannes@Home said...

Having given it some thought, I think that interconnect is the right word for direct connections in the same currency.

Doug Johnson said...

Excellent post!

From my (very uninformed) perspective, it seems like "inter-connected" systems should be further sub-divided based on the amount of info that must be supplied to transfer money. It seems like some systems which require the full bank details for transfers across mobile providers. The complexity of such systems effectively means that they will never be used by a majority of the customers i imagine.