The Mobile Money Hackathon is coming to Karachi!

September 28, 2017 | Mobile Money | Middle East and North Africa | Pakistan | Marianna Ryan

Our Mobile Money Hackathon series, taking place in Africa, Asia and Latin America over the course of two years, is touching down in Karachi, Pakistan on the weekend of 7-8 October. We are delighted to be hosting this first Asia-based Mobile Money Hackathon in conjunction with Telenor Bank and JazzCash, and with the support of Karandaaz Pakistan, all with the aim of increasing awareness, demand, and implementation of the mobile money industry API.

Companies and developers in Pakistan’s financial service industry including banks, aggregators, payments switches, start-ups, fintech companies and established players will come together for the weekend challenge of testing and building solutions for harmonised API use cases. Participating teams will innovate and build solutions for either one of the two challenges, with the first place team winning two expenses-paid tickets to Mobile World Congress 2018, the GSMA’s flagship industry event.

The Mobile Money Hackathon is taking place at DotZero, Karachi’s community space for technology entrepreneurs and start-ups. Pakistan has seen rich innovation in mobile financial services in recent years, and with useful APIs across the industry, the foundation is established for further growth and diversity in the industry.

The GSMA Mobile Money API

The API specifications have been jointly designed by key industry stakeholders—mobile money providers, platform vendors, third party service providers and industry partners — combining best practices in the technology industry, with the aim of reducing integration time and complexity within the mobile money industry today, and to limit and avoid fragmentation in the mobile money ecosystem. The APIs will be implemented across the mobile money industry with other operators in Asia and beyond.

The GSMA Mobile Money API has been implemented on the JazzCash and Telenor Bank platforms for the hackathon, and participants will be tasked with solving one of two challenges – merchant payments and bill payments. GSMA Mobile Connect’s API will also be available for teams to investigate how this service can complement their solutions.

Follow the action

Keep an eye on the #MobileMoneyHackathon hashtag on Twitter for updates in the days ahead, or visit the official hackathon website below to learn more.

Learn more

Comments from the co-hosts:

Mr. Ali Sarfraz, CEO of Karandaaz, said, “We are very excited to be partnering with the GSMA for this first-of-its-kind Hackathon in Pakistan. Karandaaz stays committed to promote the creation and uptake of different mobile money use cases. The GSMA has provided the perfect platform through this Hackathon by creating an enabling environment and bringing together the developers and exposing branch-less banking operators’ APIs to promote a culture of innovation within the DFS arena.”

Aniqa Afzal Sandhu, Chief Digital Officer of Jazz stated, “JazzCash’s goal from day one has been to bridge the prevalent banking divide in the country. One key part of this is promotion of innovation through working with private partners in the mobile money ecosystem and global bodies like the GSMA. And focus on harmonized APIs allows us to utilize best solutions from around the globe in designing viable, advanced and secure offerings for customers in a digital age.”

Sharing his thoughts, Shahid Mustafa, President & CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank said: “We are happy to collaborate with GSMA and other financial sector players to bring the new instalment of global Hackathon series to Pakistan. With high level of Telecom penetration coupled with low banking sector use, Pakistan offers a great opportunity to innovators, looking to use fintech to enhance banking/financial services use”

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