The Interledger Foundation (ILF) has awarded Bowie State University (BSU) a $25,000 grant to partner on an undergraduate course that will enable students to explore open payments technologies and issues in eCommerce and personal finance. Open payments technologies allow individuals and businesses to pay for goods and services online via a phone, mobile device, or plug-in technologies from anywhere in the world at any time.
In addition, ILF is funding students in the pilot cohort to participate in the Interledger Protocol Summit in November in New Orleans to expose them to the digital financial ecosystem, open payment systems, micro-transactions and web monetization which are a few of the concepts that will be explored throughout the course.
The course, offered in the College of Business, will introduce students to innovative technologies and allow them to research ways more people can use the internet to gain greater financial access to goods and services worldwide, particularly in developing nations.
Business transactions and how people conduct their finances online have been revolutionized by the Internet, facilitated by innovations and new digital financial systems. As the financial landscape changes, there is a need to ensure a robust and diverse pipeline of emerging professionals ready to meet the challenges. BSU is the first HBCU to partner with the Interledger Foundation to help students learn more about open payment technologies.
“Bowie State University’s collaboration with the Interledger Foundation is a significant step in the right direction to prepare a cadre of students with the requisite knowledge and exposure to the evolution of 21st century eCommerce,” said Briana Marbury, Executive Director of the Interledger Foundation. “It will also serve as a medium to increase awareness about financial innovation developed to create a more equitable and creative society through an open payments network for individuals and businesses to buy and sell products and services irrespective of where they are located in the world.”
BSU’s Management Information Systems Department will offer the modified eCommerce course for students pursuing degrees in information systems, marketing, entrepreneurship, management, accounting, computer science, security, and technology. Each student will be encouraged to interact with mentors, practitioners, and open web payment advocates.
“The partnership with the Interledger Foundation introduces students, Bowie State, and the community to advanced capabilities and knowledge through experiences in digital finance and open payments,” said Dr. Andrew Mangle, assistant professor of management information systems at Bowie State University. “Students will participate with the Interledger community by engaging with entrepreneurs, and innovators, and developing impactful solutions to promote equitable and inclusive markets,” he said.
ILF hopes to expand the initiative to other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUS) and other schools that serve historically excluded communities.
The Interledger Foundation has funded people and ideas using the Interledger Protocol (ILP) to contribute to an open payments network built on equitable access through the internet. Approximately US $10M has been granted supporting projects in over 38 countries.