GSMA urges united front to drive mobile money - Mobile World Live

GSMA urges united front to drive mobile money

21 APR 2020

The GSMA’s mobile money team called-on operators to help usher in the next growth phase in the sector by adopting its new generation of protocols to create a harmonised industry and aid integration with third parties.

Speaking to Mobile World Live, GSMA director of inclusive financial technology Bart-Jan Pors and API Architect for inclusive financial technology Viji Pathy pointed to numerous advantages in operators using a common series of APIs.

This, they argue, would help create a harmonised mobile money industry and allow the sector to capitalise on the growth levels already reported by service providers across the globe as an increasing number of users 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 harmonisation 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 harmonisation in place and to have that it’s important for the GSMA now to provide this collaboration.”

Citing 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 standardised APIs because otherwise you have [third-party] service providers having to connect to loads of different integrations.”

Upgrades
The GSMA’s newly launched APIs for mobile money are the second time it made a major push in this area and are a major upgrade on an original version 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.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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