Launching the new GSMA Mobile Money API developer portal: supporting the industry towards open ecosystems

Today, the GSMA Inclusive Tech Lab have launched a new GSMA Mobile Money API Developer Portal for the GSMA Mobile Money API Specification. 

The GSMA API is an initiative developed through collaboration between the mobile money industry and the GSMA, which provides a harmonised API Specification for all the common mobile money use cases which is both easy to use and secure. Using technology best practices in API design and security, the GSMA API aims to simplify and accelerate the advancement of Open APIs in mobile money platforms and stimulate the growth of the ecosystem. 

For everything you need to know about the GSMA API initiative, see the Lab’s API home and the API Specification home

How APIs can help your mobile money business 

In the first decade after its inception, the mobile money industry grew to maturity largely by monetising on P2P transfers and cash-in-cash-out transactions, building on transaction fee-based revenue models. Today, however, there is a tremendous opportunity to advance into ecosystem-driven business models, by diversifying service offerings that generate new revenue sources. By exposing their capabilities, mobile money providers can enable plug-and-play access for third parties that drive additional transactions, such as merchant and bill payments or bulk disbursements.  

These capabilities can be exposed by the provision of Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, which are the mechanisms through which value is exchanged in modern business. APIs enable payment and data sources to be exchanged and monetised, enabling an interconnected financial ecosystem and, in fact, for entire financial services value chains to be reimagined.  

The benefits of productising your mobile money APIs  

Those that see APIs merely as a techy niche, would overlook the way this technology has transformed modern digital businesses. Treating APIs as a core business value generator, mobile money providers can leverage them to innovate existing services and grow their digital revenue streams. Strong API strategies ensure that APIs are treated and packaged as products, which give partners the freedom to leverage the mobile money provider’s assets while building out their own innovations on top of them.  

To serve a third party’s business needs, a good API product shall empower its developers. With well-designed APIs, developers can agilely assemble the mobile money provider’s assets into new products and services, like creating a tower with building blocks. API products are only useful if developers adopt them, so API providers need efficient ways to engage with users. This is why providing a state-of-the-art developer portal is of vital importance.  

What is the API developer Portal? 

The developer portal gives use friendly access to the full set of GSMA API Specifications, as well all the developer resources that enable the specification to be of real benefit to API providers and consumers. 

  • If you are a mobile money provider implementing the GSMA API, the developer portal will support the rapid creation of new APIs to attract third-party service providers to your platform and grow your ecosystem. 
  • If you are a service provider creating solutions for the mobile money ecosystem, the developer portal will support easily creating solutions which support the GSMA API and allow you to scale your integrations across the industry.

Why did we decide to create a new API Developer Portal? 

  • The latest version of the API was enhanced to support different perspectives for API providers and consumers and different use case views.  We wanted to provide the industry with a developer portal which enabled an intuitive user journey and great user experience for each of the many different types of users who may be interested in the GSMA API and thereby drive adoption of the API across the industry.  Both business and technical users should easily be able to find the resources – business information, use cases, APIs, developer documentation, developer tools – most relevant to their needs across many different industry verticals
  • We wanted to create a great example developer portal which could support the mobile money industry in creating best practice developer portals for their own API ecosystem.  As such we introduced API product and business focused areas into the developer portal and additional technical resources with user friendly navigation. 
  • To create a state-of-the-art developer portal, we have updated the underlying technology frameworks used to the best-in-class technologies of AWS API Gateway and VueJS for both the backend and front end of the portal respectively, which combine secure and well-managed user on-boarding capabilities with a great website aesthetic and user-friendly UI.  All source code is Open Source on GitHub and is freely available to utilise by the industry.
  • To create a smooth user journey for on-boarding developers, we have introduced a new user dashboard area with instant access to all the tools and API credentials required for utilisation of the API sandbox environment enabled after user registration. 

What does the new developer portal include? 

The developer portal provides a central hub of useful information for the mobile money industry to support the creation and use of Mobile Money APIs, for both business and developer users. 

  • Guidance for business and product owners on how the Mobile Money API can support the mobile money industry for specific use cases across multiple industry verticals, such as industry use cases, case studies and testimonials.

  • A full set of developer documentation and guides for getting started with the Mobile Money API Specification such as API fundamentals, security and API flow guidelines, API reference docs, OAS OpenAPI docs, code snippets and API use case guides and sequence flows. 

  • A full suite of developer tools to facilitate developers analysing, implementing or integrating to the API such as simulator sandbox of example API, example OAuth 2.0 API Gateway, use case scenarios sequences, authenticated Postmans for each scenario.

  • Dedicated industry areas to explore the use cases which may be relevant for your industry:
  • Dedicated use case areas to explore the supported scenarios for each use case:
  • One of the most important developer resources API providers should include are SDKs – a package of tools, libraries, documentation, and code samples which allow developers to easily consume and use APIs for their end user solutions. The developer portal includes open-source SDKs which the GSMA has created for use by the industry… coming soon is a dedicated blog from the Lab which tells you more about these assets!
  • Enhanced developer resources such as security design and implementation guidelines, best practice guidance on API request-response flows, FAQs, Glossary, Contact forms, search functionality. 
  • User dashboard area enabled after user registration gives instant access to the GSMA API Gateway which provided an example authentication gateway that adopts the best practice security recommendations of OAuth 2.0 enabling API providers to demonstrate how GSMA APIs could work in production.  Users have access to the GSMA sandbox environment and Postman collections with authentication and can easily create and view applications and their API credentials.
  • Direct access to additional resources such as the interactive GSMA’s Mobile Money Metrics tool, GSMA’s API Compliance platform, GSMA’s API Collaboration platform.

Next Steps 

  • Browse around the portal and find out more about how the GSMA Mobile Money API can support your mobile money ecosystem. 
  • If you already have a GSMA API developer portal account, you can Login to the portal using your existing credentials to get access to your own user dashboard including all your current applications and user credentials, create new applications, and view or update your profile. 
  • If you are new to the GSMA API developer portal you can Register to the portal to get access to your own user dashboard and create new applications and create your profile. 
  • Make use of the developer portal source code to build your own solution. Get involved by feedback on enhancements you would like to see in the portal. 

If you have any queries, please feel free to get in touch with the Lab by contacting us or emailing support.mmapi@gsma.com

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