If there was ever a mobile money transfer service platform that comes to mind when speaking of successful ones, it’s Safaricom’s M-Pesa which was launched by Vodacom and Vodafone in 2007 for Kenya and Tanzana’s biggest mobile operator Safaricom. It’s great that developers from anywhere in the world can be a part of its success story.
Safaricom has announced that the M-Pesa API (application programming interface) has been opened up to developers to create innovative apps or solutions that work well with the mobile money platform, ranging from B2B (business-to-business), C2B (consumer-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) apps.
The benefits of opening up APIs? Here are a few:
- Third-party integration is attractive. It will get more business running as more services are built for, not against the platform. It stops being about competition and more about developers from various institutions working together to create a bigger, better product.
- Levels of coding can be minimized for the developer if the API is good enough and uses simple coding language. This reduces the amount of coding time needed to create apps or products that benefit the consumer
It reduces the amount of money and time Safaricom would spend on creating its own apps for M-Pesa, throwing out costs like hiring developers itself. The work done especially by international developers means that the mobile money service can be customized for different markets easily.
This move is to create services that allow more transactions made using M-Pesa services obviously, as the mobile money service already opened up its remittance service to work with other financial technology systems.
For example it allows users to obtain bank loans through it or for business to pay workers on a payroll scheme, apart from just sending and receiving money and paying bills.
Betty Mwangi, Safaricom’s Director of Financial Services said about the development, “One of the advantages of the new M-Pesa platform is the fact that it is easier to integrate with other financial platforms to offer more improved services to our customers.”
In April this year Safaricom brought back M-Pesa’s servers to be hosted locally in Kenya from Germany in order to provide an enhanced user experience.