Safaricom, the operator of the M-Pesa platform, has released an Application Programming Interface (API) to entice local and international developers into creating innovative new use cases for the popular mobile payments service.
The release of the API comes on the back of a major technical upgrade commissioned earlier this year, which saw servers used for processing M-Pesa moved from Germany to Kenya, and increasing competition from the likes of rival mobile operators such as Airtel and Orange.
Betty Mwangi, director, financial services, Safaricom, says: “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."
The mobile operator is now calling on third party developers to take up the challenge of devising new applications for business-to-consumer, consumer-to-business and business-to-business that can be plugged into the open tech backbone.
Separately, Safaricom has selected 13 startups from a field of 320 entries to enter a three-month incubation programme and compete for a share of a cash prize pot.