Launch of the GSMA Mobile Money API Compliance Verification Service

Today, we are launching the GSMA Mobile Money API Compliance Verification Service. Sasai Fintech with operations in Zimbabwe, Burundi and Lesotho is now compliant with the GSMA Mobile Money API specification and AfriMoney will soon deploy their compliant APIs in Sierra Leone, DRC and the Gambia alongside their technology partner, Comviva, which is also complying their Mobiquity Pay mobile money platform.

This GSMA service is designed to support mobile money providers and third-party service providers that want to comply with a harmonised industry specification for best practice in design and security. The service uses an automated platform to check and verify whether a mobile money API meets the core requirements of the GSMA specification. To better understand the technical scope of the service, check out Viji Pathy’s blog on partner integrations from a technical perspective.

To support the growth of the wider ecosystem, the GSMA will be providing the service free to mobile money API providers. The service is open to any API provider, including mobile money operators, technology platform providers and third-party service providers.

This is a quality assurance service that will begin by supporting merchant payment and cash disbursement use cases. Other use cases covered by the specification, such as international money transfers, bank account linking and bill payments, will be activated later based on the needs of the industry.

Alex Sinclair, the Chief Technology Officer of the GSMA, appreciates the need to continue supporting the growth of the mobile money industry. In a new video, he highlights the importance of the compliance service in helping the mobile money industry grow.

The service is being launched at a time when the mobile money industry is maturing and entering a phase where all types of products are being built by third-party service providers to reduce the friction associated with mobile money payments in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Beyond person-to-person transactions, a range of use cases are now available for mobile money users, from recurring payments to utility companies to bulk cash disbursements from humanitarian organisations.

One of the launch partners for the compliance service is Sasai Fintech, which was awarded a mark of approval for both their merchant payments and cash disbursement APIs. Sasai Fintech has a large customer base across Zimbabwe, Burundi, and Lesotho. Their GSMA compliant APIs will be used for integrations on the Sasai Supper App.

The GSMA Mobile Money API Specification is a collaborative initiative between the mobile money industry and the GSMA to help the mobile money industry speak the same technical language. The specification provides a modern harmonised API for mobile money transactions and management that is both easy to use and secure.

The specification is designed to overcome the complexities of scaling mobile money API integrations. It was designed using best practice API design principles, with harmonisation as its core objective. It covers all the main mobile money use cases and has been iterated over the past five years to meet industry needs for fast and secure integrations with third-party service providers.

API providers that demonstrate compliance will benefit from greater trust in their solutions and attract third-party service providers to their platform, as they can prove that they are adhering to best practices in flexibility, scalability, and security. Third-party service providers that want to integrate with the API provider will, in turn, benefit from greater confidence and clarity during the integration process and from greater prospects for scale once it is complete.

Comviva builds technologies for some of the largest mobile money platforms in the world, with over 60 deployments in more than 45 countries. “Digital payment and fintech businesses continue to spur innovation, inclusion, and growth across the world. API integration is a key step in empowering consumers and businesses by simplifying integration and scaling the financial ecosystem. With our compliance against the GSMA’s Mobile Money API verification, we look forward to further strengthening our proposition to digital payment providers worldwide for delivering financial services solutions simply, securely and quickly,” commented Manoranjan ‘Mao’ Mohapatra, Chief Executive Officer at Comviva

As more ecosystem players become compliant with a standard API specification, there will be more opportunities for scale. For example, governments and humanitarian organisations distributing cash or money transfer companies providing cross-border remittances. If a solution is compliant, it can integrate more easily with other compliant solutions, making it better able to function across markets, systems, and contexts.

A GSMA Mobile Money API Compliant mark will be granted to API providers that demonstrate compliance with this industry specification. Compliance is determined by establishing that a provider has implemented their API for use cases relevant to their business, and that they have met baseline security conformance for operational and API security.

AfriMoney is the mobile money service of Africell, which operates in multiple African countries and is enrolled in the service for their merchant payment APIs in Sierra Leone, DRC and the Gambia. AfriMoney’s Group Director, Andy Widmann, supports the GSMA in advocating for more third-party service providers to connect with mobile money platforms. In a statement he said, “By working with the GSMA to comply with their Mobile Money API compliance verification service, we believe we can reduce the costs and time normally associated with API integrations. We also believe that this will make it easier for third-party providers to partner with AfriMoney, thereby supporting further development of the digital ecosystem in our markets and increasing the number of products and services available to our customers.”

The service will help and support all current and new adopters of the GSMA Mobile Money API specification who want to demonstrate compliance with the specification. The GSMA will continue to update the specification as the technology evolves to keep pace with changes in the payments industry.

All organisations working with mobile money APIs are encouraged to apply for their service to be given a GSMA mark of approval, free of charge, to support and grow their platform. For more information, contact the GSMA Inclusive Tech Lab at support.mmapi@gsma.com.

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