Justus Ortlepp, Product Manager LexTego

In his second post, Justus talks about the exciting work LexTego did with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Last time, Justus Ortlepp, Product Manager at LexTego defined Financial Inclusion and the role technology can play. In Part 2, he describes working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

With the Mojaloop platform well underway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation turned its attention to one of the other challenges faced by the underserved: how do you prevent fraud via digital financial services against those who could least afford to lose any money?
In November 2019, while working at Deloitte, I was involved in a project to outline a fraud identification and prevention solution that could be operated in conjunction with a Mojaloop deployment. Over the course of the next 10 months, Deloitte drafted the requirements for a real-time transaction monitoring solution to identify fraud and money-laundering (FrAML, for short) behaviour in transactions performed via a Mojaloop implementation, based on an earlier community white-paper drafted by LexTego’s now-CEO, Rob Reeve.

Deloitte also identified 270 FrAML typologies that were relevant to instant payments eco-systems and invented a FrAML classification model called APRICOT to assist DFSPs in FrAML risk identification. Deloitte’s work during this time was presented at the quarterly Mojaloop OSS Community Meetings and forms part of the Mojaloop OSS body of knowledge.

Towards the end of 2020, the requirements and community appetite had matured sufficiently to move into product development. Actio was envisaged as an open source software real-time transaction monitoring solution to detect fraud and money-laundering in Mojaloop transactions. An OSS platform is essential to keep the cost of acquisition and operation low for an operator, which would in turn benefit their customers. But who would build such a thing?

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation stepped up to fund the Actio MVP. And so LexTego was born. We delivered a Proof of Concept of the Actio platform in January 2021 along with a partner in South Africa, achieving a peak through-put of approximately 8000 transactions per second. Over the next 15 months, we completed the MVP and presented a functional real-time transaction monitoring solution to the Mojaloop community in April 2022.

By September 2021, however, there was enough of a foundation of the Actio product for LexTego to fork the product into its own commercial version of the platform, called Octia.

The Actio product is now under the wings of the Mojaloop Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We waved Actio a sad goodbye at the most recent Mojaloop convening in July 2022. It was a bitter-sweet moment for me, having spent the last two-and-a-half years committed to its development and working closely with a great team.

Even though Octia is intended to be a commercial product, we intend to remain attuned to the Actio Foundation as it grows into the champion for safe transactions we envisaged when we started, especially for the underserved members in financial ecosystems.

Good luck, Actio! We’ll be in touch.