M-PESA to Open its API in April 2015

safaricom logoSafaricom has said it will open its API to the public next year April to help developers build platforms that can use M-PESA for quick payments.

Safaricom head of innovations Veronica Ogeto speaking at the Pivot East Conference said,”The M-Pesa API will be available by April next year, as a working date. The M-Pesa API is not hosted in Kenya and we have been trying to bring it home.”
The delay, she said was because the M-PESA API is not hosted in the country and the firm is working to bring it home. The firm has been saying for a long time now that the M-Pesa open API will be available to the developers. It’s become a song that it will open up its API  for developers to use M-Pesa for in app purcharses.

The problem still exists, the only alternative, some developers say is to use a PesaPal widget which is not as effective as a user has to leave the app to make payments.  Though M-Pesa now allows online payments, powering payments in mobile apps is still a problem.

A few years ago, an Open Source M-Pesa API called PesaPi was launched by a local develoepr to help developers build apps using Safaricom’s M-Pesa as they wait for the firm to release its API. With PesaPi devs can integrate payments in their apps. Other ways of using M-Pesa minus the firm’s API is by devs having their own M-PESA disbursal account so that they can collect payments manually.

Safaricom also announced a free sms white label testbed for developers in Kenya. So developers building SMS and USSD apps can use it for free.

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