#mwc2017: World marks ten years of mobile money; GSMA launches developer portal for platform

The GSMA has launched a developer portal for platform vendors and the technical community, which will help ensure compatibility with GSMA industry-standard Mobile Money APIs.

The portal was announced at the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain, where GSMA unveiled its sixth State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money.

The report also stated that in December 2016 alone, the industry processed 1.3 billion transactions, averaging around 30,000 transactions a minute and more than half a billion registered mobile money accounts globally, as of the end of 2016.

The GSMA said it seeks to harmonize application program interfaces (APIs) to unlock a wave of innovation and further extend the reach of mobile money services

GSMA also says that the approach will ensure interoperability across the ecosystem, seamless deployment and access to the latest standard APIs, through which developers can build mobile money products and services.

The developer portal is free and will allow users to access a real, production-ready test environment. The portal offers an open and accessible way to work technically with the APIs and will be supported by the majority of vendors throughout the mobile money industry, with the aim to accelerate further industry growth.

The move by GSMA comes at a time when mobile money platforms like M-PESA are marking ten years since inception.

The report by GSMA also provides what it says is the only comprehensive picture of mobile money around the globe. This edition looks back across the decade since the pioneering launch of M-Pesa in Kenya, which first demonstrated the potential of mobile technology to transform access to financial services. Ten years on there are more than half a billion registered mobile money accounts across 92 countries.

“Giving underserved people access to digital payments has expanded financial inclusion to hundreds of millions of people in developing countries. Mobile operators have been at the centre of this success story. The reach and impact of their services provides clear example of how important the mobile industry is to ensuring achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” said Matt Granryd, Director General, GSMA.

Beyond its significant contributions to universal financial access goals, including the World Bank’s initiative to enable a billion transaction accounts by 2020, mobile money has also been seen as a key enabler of broader economic development and empowerment.

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