The Mobile Money Hackathon returns to Dar es Salaam

July 5, 2017 | Mobile for Development | Mobile Money | Global | Sub-Saharan Africa | Global | Tanzania | Gunnar Camner

Building on the success of the first Mobile Money hackathon held last year, the Mobile Money team is delighted to be hosting a second hackathon in Dar es Salaam on Saturday 8 – Sunday 9 July, this time in conjunction with Airtel and Mahindra Comviva.

This hackathon is part of a series that will take place in Asia, Latin America and Africa over the next two years, with the purpose of raising awareness, demand and speeding up implementation of the mobile money industry API.

This weekend, 15 companies and developers in the financial services industry, including banks, aggregators, payments switches and start-ups will test and build solutions for harmonised API use cases over the weekend.

The winning team will receive two all-expenses paid tickets to attend Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain – the headline event on the GSMA calendar.

Who are the defending champions?

The 2016 hackathon saw participation from nine teams from Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana. The winning team comprised three engineers from transaction and predictive technology platform JUMO, who produced a virtual checkout ‘Lane Zero’ using the harmonised APIs. JUMO’s seamless physical merchant payment solution using QR codes was recognised for its user experience and functionality. JUMO will be returning this year in an effort to defend their title.

Why is the event focused on harmonised APIs?

The APIs were jointly designed by key 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 industry today, and to limit and avoid fragmentation in the mobile money ecosystem.

What are the themes of this year’s event?

This year’s Mobile Money Hackathon is structured around mass transportation and merchant payments. The use of mobile money to facilitate payments is a key growth opportunity for the industry. One of the main factors inhibiting growth in this space has been a lack of technology offerings that enable merchants to offer a frictionless payment experience to customers.

Transport payments are one transaction type that could help encourage the everyday use of mobile money while at the same time aiding efficiency for public transport users. Examples from operators that successfully integrated mobile money with transportation show an exponential increase of transactions per customer and activity rates.

Bulk disbursements are one of the fastest growing transactions in the mobile money ecosystem. In fact, the ability to disburse funds to multiple recipients is a key mobile money use case. For the hackathon, our challenge to participants is to perform the role of a disbursement aggregator.

We’ll be providing live updates on the teams’ progress during the event. Follow us on Twitter @GSMAmmu and join the #MobileMoneyHackathon conversation to see who takes home this year’s prize!

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