MTN opens up API platform

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An open API platform enables developers and programmers to get free access to Telecoms, in this case MTN mobile money proprietary software platform. MTN Mobile Money is the most widely used mobile money platform in Uganda.

Developers can now access it, create products that ease payment options and leverage the 10 million of MTN clients registered on Mobile Money, being the most widely used mobile money platform in Uganda.

The consultative group to assist the poor (CGAP) and MTN Uganda that met in January 2018 entered a partnership intended to drive customer growth and activity by facilitating a wider range of mobile wallet applications for all customers through open APIs. According to CGAP, open APIs have the potential to further drive financial inclusion, which is already being accelerated by the usage of mobile money.

MTN Uganda has started the journey of opening up its Mobile Money API in order to enable innovation and catalyse digital financial services. Consequently, third parties will now be able to access the Mobile Money API. API stands for Application Programming Interface.

By opening up its API to third-party developers, the giant telecom is also opening up to benefits of revenue generation and innovation. This is especially because of the growing adoption of mobile devices and mobile money usage among consumers today. MTN Uganda has as of late become the first telecom company in Uganda and in the MTN Group to grant access to third-party access to its Mobile Money Access Programming Interface (API).

This takes away the process previously where developers had to submit paperwork physically to MTN Uganda and to proceed to a lengthy standard integration. The online system provides an option where before developer’s product
goes live, they can test it using a sandbox available at no cost on the website.

However, Asher Namanya CEO Pesamoni says, they have had the API since 2016 and the response amongst the informed general public has been good. However, he says that for ease of doing business in Uganda or Tanzania business people would prefer their API because it integrates all telecoms unlike MTN’s that integrates only their Telekom users.

About inter network costs, Asher says,’ they are very low as compared to mobile money but is also quick to point out that only businesses operating online know about the pesamoni API exisitence.Steven Kirenga, Communications director at the National Information Technology Agency says, “MTNs move is welcome as this removes the middle man and restrictions as well, creating an equal playing field for developers and business owners to thrive.”

MTN’s expectations are that this decision will enable innovators to monetise their products, ensure that there is fast turnaround of innovations to get to market and improve the value created for innovators and entrepreneur, probably
creating a Ugandan eBay or Amazon in the near future. Moses Watasa, Commissioner of ICT at the Ministry of ICT, is happy about the ever growing financial inclusivity in the country,’ which means no more bottlenecks for especially online businesses in regards to receiving pavements for their goods or services a positive step as well as creating an even playing field and regulating the ICT environment, forthe players ‘

Mtn Application Access
Developers will be able to access it online through http://momodeveloper.mtn.com/. Free of charge. This takes away the process previously where developers had to submit paperwork physically to MTN Uganda and to proceed to a lengthy standard integration. The online system provides an option where before developer’s product goes live, they can test it using a sandbox available at no cost on the website. For twenty years the giant MTN company role has been revolving, its recent innovation no doubt emphasizes its digital era competitiveness. Ugandan developers now have the opportunity to build products that will enhance financial inclusion, improved customer experience
when making payments and improve the movement of their products.


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