Six months since Safaricom brought its M-PESA servers back home, the telecom giant has announced that it has opened up its M-PESA platform to allow local and international developers to come up with next-generation applications that will work with the most preferred mobile money solution.
The developer community has for long been anticipating that Safaricom would release an API for its M-Pesa service that would open doors for app developers to easily extend the functionality of M-Pesa to their e-commerce applications.
"One of the advantages of the new M-PESA platform is the fact that it is easier to integrate with other financial platforms to offer more or improved services to our customers," said Betty Mwangi, Director- Financial Services, Safaricom.
The key advantage that comes with opening up of the M-PESA API is that developers will now easily be able to integrate 3rd parties onto MPESA and as well as allow them to do more local innovations.
It addresses one of the major shortcomings cited by local with the previous M-PESA platform, which was located in Germany. It was also a relatively slow and complicated process given the need for approvals here and from the team manning the servers.
The developers are expected to come up with innovative solutions for Business to Consumer, Consumer to Business, and Business to Business channels, that can run off the new M-PESA platform.
Ms. Mwangi said, "As we have always said, innovation is at the heart of everything we do. We do however accept that innovation cannot come from us alone- it takes partnerships to come up with some of the best possible solutions that will help Transform Lives."
The opening up of M-PESA API's complements other recent initiatives aimed at boosting M-PESA transactions and entrenching a Cash Lite economy through Lipa Na M-PESA which is an e-commerce platform.
Safaricom has over 23 million subscribers, of these, over 19 million customers use M-PESA, opening up the platform will help developers build applications that can accept M-PESA payments minus going the old-school Paybill or Lipa Na M-PESA way.