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.