The GSMA’s mobile money team has called on operators to help drive in the next phase of growth in the sector by adopting its new generation of protocols to create a harmonized industry and also to aid integration with third parties.
The GSMA Director of Inclusive Financial Technology, Bart-Jan Pors and API Architect for Inclusive Financial Technology Viji Pathy, spoke of numerous advantages in operators using a common series of APIs.
They argue that this would help create a synchronized mobile money industry and allow the sector to capitalise on the growth levels already reported by service providers across the globe, as more and more users begin to take-up more advanced services.
“If you look to adjacent financial verticals, for example the payments industry run by banks, you’ve seen decades ago similar initiatives that drive harmonization and specifications,” Pors said.
“We believe for the mobile money industry to develop further and build a larger ecosystem, it will become vital to have harmonization in place, and to have that, it’s important for the GSMA now to provide this collaboration.”
When speaking of activities in related sectors such as smartphone software systems, Pathy added: “The industry’s really grown once the ecosystem’s grown, and to do that, you need standardized APIs because otherwise you have [third-party] service providers having to connect to loads of different integrations.”
The GSMA’s newly launched APIs for mobile money is the second time the organization has made a major push in this area and marks a significant upgrade on an original version, which was launched in 2016. Its specifications provide new features designed to cover a wider range of use cases, strengthened security and improve integration with common third-party platforms.
Among the new elements, are expansion of supported types of account identifiers, adoption of internationally recognised open API specifications, the ability to generate and cancel expiring transaction codes, support for ATM withdrawals, backing for new identification data, and mobile number validation, covering local and international numbers.
Alongside the new generation API, the organisation also released updated tools to help operators support those creating applications through developer portals.
To drive adoption of the new APIs, the GSMA also plans to hold regular sessions with operators and other interested parties, provide education sessions and continue to adapt the system to meet evolving industry needs.