Afrimoney, Africell’s mobile money platform, has just become more efficient with the adoption of the GSMA’s Mobile Money API Specifications for its merchant APIs.
API stands for application programming interface. An API is a set of technical protocols for integrating different software. Companies which want to link their digital services use APIs. Afrimoney’s merchant APIs allow merchants to connect to Afrimoney and provide Afrimoney services to their customers. Services for which customers can pay using Afrimoney mobile money include paying bills, online shopping, food delivery, ridesharing, tax collection, and more.
Typically, integrating a potential merchant into the Afrimoney technical system requires a custom API. This is time-consuming, complicated, and costly to develop. It can deter integration, meaning that in economies (such as sub-Saharan Africa) where mobile money is increasingly common, fewer merchants are mobile money-enabled than would be possible with an easier integration process.
Now, thanks to the GSMA Mobile Money API Specification, a template exists for quick and pain-free integration between merchant partners and Afrimoney. Phil Green, Afrimoney’s technical lead, explains the benefits of adopting the GSMA’s specification.
Our goal as a technical team is to minimise the technological barriers to Afrimoney’s commercial success. The GSMA Mobile Money API Specification provided a well-designed and easy-to-use API based on solid and familiar design principles. This allowed us to go to market quickly with a proven product at a very low cost. It provides for more efficient integration between our system and potential merchants because the API is robust, well-documented and familiar. Now that our merchant APIs comply with the GSMA specification, it will be easier for us to bring new merchants into the Afrimoney ecosystem because we have standardized and easy-to-use APIs. This is positive for our users, who want as many accessible use cases for their mobile money as they can get, and it is good for us because it is one less barrier to growing the business.Phil Green, Technical Lead, Afrimoney
Developed in collaboration with the mobile money industry, the GSMA’s Mobile Money API Specifications combine best practices in design and security recommendations, offering mobile money services in Africa and elsewhere the opportunity to streamline technical operations and invest more focus in commercial strategy.
We applaud Afrimoney’s commitment to leveraging the GSMA Mobile Money API Specification to minimise barriers and enhance accessibility. Their swift adoption of the specification to streamline their third-party integration process demonstrate the effectiveness of our well-designed and cost-efficient API specification. We look forward to continued collaboration as they expand their ecosystem, providing users with diverse mobile money use cases.Bart-Jan Pors, Senior Director Mobile Money, GSMA
By adopting the GSMA specification for merchant APIs, Afrimoney is among the first movers in Africa, exemplifying how conformity to the specifications delivers immediate benefits to operators. But it is only the first step. Afrimoney plans to adopt GSMA Mobile Money API Specification for disbursements and international money transfers, making it simpler for governments and NGOs to remit funds to recipients through Afrimoney. Mass disbursements are an important application for mobile money. In 2020, Afrimoney DRC collaborated successfully with the World Bank and the DRC Social Fund to transfer millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to low-income households in Kinshasa struggling due to COVID-19.