Arguably the most successful mobile payment service in the world, M-Pesa and its operator (Safaricom – owned by Vodafone) have announced that it is releasing its Application Programming Interface (API) to encourage developers around the world to help create new use cases and expand the service. The release of the API comes after a major technical upgrade which has greatly expanded M-Pesa’s capabilities.
Commenting on the move, Betty Mwangi, director, financial services of Safaricom said
“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 or improved services to our customers.”
The ease of integration into other financial platforms is becoming increasingly important due to the fact that M-Pesa’s dominant position is being challenged by rival mobile payment services offered by Airtel and Orange. If third party developers are successful in developing new applications for business-to-consumer, consumer-to-business and business-to-business use cases this will go a long way in keeping M-Pesa ahead of the competition in Kenya and in other markets around the world.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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