The service, which will be free for companies providing mobile money services, is intended to support the growth of a trusted mobile money ecosystem in developing countries.
Africa leads the world in the adoption of mobile money services, and several African companies are the first mobile money API providers to enrol in the service. Sasai Fintech, with operations in Zimbabwe, Burundi and Lesotho, is now compliant with the GSMA Mobile Money API specification. AfriMoney will soon deploy their compliant APIs in Sierra Leone, DRC and the Gambia, alongside their technology partner, Comviva, which is also complying via their Mobiquity Pay mobile money platform.
In a statement, AfriMoney’s Group Director, Andy Widmann said “By working with the GSMA to comply with their Mobile Money API compliance verification service, we believe we can reduce the costs and time normally associated with API integrations.
We also believe that this will make it easier for third-party providers to partner with AfriMoney, thereby supporting further development of the digital ecosystem in our markets and increasing the number of products and services available to our customers.”
Mobile money continues to surge worldwide, with the amount of money being processed by the industry now passing the $1 trillion mark, according to the GSMA’s latest State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money.
Mobile money services can provide valuable support to communities, close societal divides, and deliver financial independence. The ability to conduct more complex financial transactions via mobile money meant the value of mobile money payments grew by 31% in 2021.
“Digital payment and fintech businesses continue to spur innovation, inclusion, and growth across the world. API integration is a key step in empowering consumers and businesses by simplifying integration and scaling the financial ecosystem.
“With our compliance against the GSMA’s Mobile Money API verification, we look forward to further strengthening our proposition to digital payment providers worldwide for delivering financial services solutions simply, securely and quickly”, commented Manoranjan ‘Mao’ Mohapatra, Chief Executive Officer at Comviva.
The new compliance service was developed by the GSMA’s Inclusive Tech Lab, which takes a hands-on approach to research, testing and development of the inclusive technologies of the future.
The Mobile Money API is an initiative developed through collaboration between the mobile money industry and the GSMA, aimed at helping the mobile money industry speak the same technical language by providing a modern harmonised API for mobile money transactions and management that is both easy to use and secure.
API providers who can demonstrate compliance will benefit from enhanced trust in their solutions by proving adherence to best practices in flexibility, scalability and security, helping them to attract third-party service providers to their platform.
Third-party service providers who wish to integrate with the API provider will in turn benefit from greater confidence and clarity during the integration process, and greater prospects for scale upon integration.
Alex Sinclair, the GSMA’s Chief Technology Officer, further commented on the benefits this new service will bring to the industry: “The GSMA is committed to supporting financial inclusion by encouraging the growth of a thriving ecosystem around Mobile Money platforms.
“This new service will enable all service providers to connect with each other in a simplified manner and reduce the lengthy and cumbersome Mobile Money API integration process.”
As more ecosystem players become compliant with a standard API specification, the more opportunities exist to scale solutions and grow the ecosystem.
Enhanced use cases can range from governments and NGOs distributing cash, to fin-tech companies providing cross-border remittances. If a solution is compliant it can integrate more easily with other compliant solutions, enhancing its potential to function across markets, systems and contexts.
The service is open to any API provider who wishes to comply with the GSMA Mobile Money API. This includes mobile money operators, technology platform providers, and service providers.
“We are delighted to have the GSMA Mobile Money API compliance mark of approval for merchant payments and bulk disbursements for the Sasai Super App. With this verification, we believe we will be able to simplify our integration process for partners and help more customers access our services.” Owen Takadiyi, Chief Marketing Officer, Sasai Fintech.
A ‘GSMA Mobile Money API Compliant’ mark will be granted to API providers that demonstrate compliance with this industry specification.
Compliance is determined by establishing that an API provider has implemented the API for use cases which are relevant to their business, and that they have met baseline security conformance for operational and API security.
For companies interested in becoming API compliant, the GSMA has also recently launched a new API Developer Portal, providing all the tools needed to embark on the compliance journey.