MTN begins Mobile Money access to third-parties in Uganda
MTN, the pioneer telecom company in Uganda has become the first in the MTN Group to grant access to third-parties to its Mobile Money Access Programming Interface (API).
An Open API platform enables developers and programmers to get free access to MTN mobile money proprietary software platform. MTN Mobile Money is the most widely used mobile money platform in Uganda. Developers can now access it, create products that ease payment options and leverage the 10M of MTN clients registered on Mobile Money.
This is coming barely one week the chief executive of MTN Group, Mr. Rob Shuter hinted that the company will apply for Mobile Money licence in Nigeria as soon as entrance terms and conditions are released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
It would be recalled that the apex bank recently upturned its policy of licencing special purpose companies to drive mobile money to granting of the licencing to main network operators (MNOs) due to observed abysmal performances of the companies in the last few years.
Explaining more, the General Manager, Mobile Financial Services MTN Uganda, Ms. Elsa Muzzolini, “This is an exciting development for the Ugandan start-ups ecosystem. Innovators will now be able to develop applications that ease the customer experience in terms of mobile money payments. We do hope that this move will spur innovation in the developer community around the country because this is the first time this is being done here.”
It would be recalled that in January this year, MTN Uganda and Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) entered a partnership intended to drive customer growth and activity by facilitating a wider range of mobile wallet applications for all customers through open APIs. According to CGAP, open APIs have the potential to further drive financial inclusion, which is already being accelerated by the usage of mobile money.
She added that “Our expectations are that this decision will enable innovators to monetise their products, ensure that there is fast turnaround of innovations to get to market and improve the value created for innovators and entrepreneurs, why not a Ugandan Ebay or Amazon in the next few months”.
Business Hilights gathered that the MTN Mobile Money API will be accessed by developers online through. This takes away the process previously where developers had to submit paperwork physically to MTN Uganda and to proceed to a lengthy standard integration. The online system provides an option where before developer’s product goes live, they can test it using a sandbox available at no cost on the website.