Not so long ago, MTN celebrated a decade of its industry revolutionizing Mobile Money (MoMo) financial platform. And it wasn’t long after that when developers were excited to learn that the MTN Mobile Money API has been made open to Ghana. With this, Ghana becomes the second African country, after Uganda, where the API is open for programmers and application developers to use.
But then, what is the Mobile Money API, and what does this new development mean for developers in Ghana, and the finance industry in the country?
API is an acronym that stands for “Application Programming Interface.” APIs list the operations that can be used by developers, alongside a description of their functions. They serve as a template of sorts for developers — allowing them make use of a platform’s implementation, in order to save time.
The benefits are that, aside it helping to create consistency for apps built on the same platform, developers do not need to create too much code; thereby cutting down on project development timelines.
APIs are used in controlling access to hardware and software resources that may be restricted to an application. This functionality is why they play a major role in security.
The MTN Mobile Money API
With this turn of events, developers will no longer have the need to integrate with other payment aggregators, or even endure bureaucracy with MTN before being able to integrate MTN Mobile Money into their applications.
Programmers can now easily develop solutions for the following using the MTN Mobile Money API:
- Disbursement of funds — automatically deposit funds to multiple Mobile Money accounts in one transaction.
- Making remittances — this functionality would allow developers to build solutions with which users in the diaspora can easily remit funds to recipients based locally.
- Collection of payments — build an application with which revenue collectors can automatically and remotely collect bills, taxes, and other forms of fees.
- Collection Widget — this would allow for the receipt and approval of Mobile Money transactions via your website, by scanning a QR Code.
Steps to access MTN Mobile Money AP
Here is a quick summary of the steps to follow in order to be able to access the API.
1. Sign up for an account
In order to do this, visit https://momodeveloper.mtn.com/ to create your account. Verify your account once it’s created, and sign in to the developer dashboard.
2. Get your product subscription key
Subscribe to the product your application would use (Disbursement, Remittances, Collections, or Widget). You’ll get a primary subscription key, as well as a secondary subscription key (in your developer dashboard) once you’ve subscribed.
3. Create an API user
You’ll then have to create an API user, as the MTN Mobile Money API heavily relies on uniquely identifying ID’s (UUIDs).
4. Generate your API key
Using the reference ID generated in the previous step, create an API key.
5. Generate a secure JWT token
To generate your token (which is the final step in the authenticating process) you would have to make an authenticated request to the product endpoint.
6. Make authenticated API requests
At this point, you should have a valid JWT token. With that, you’ll be able to interact with most of the api endpoints. For example, you can make remittances to mobile money accounts after collecting payments, and much more.
Ghana has been on a quest for financial inclusion and a cashless economy over time. It is no secret that MTN with its innovative presence in FinTech is one of the major influences driving that quest.
From time to time, MTN has stepped up to lead the way in improving financial inclusion and this is just one of the many ways in which the telecom giant keeps making investments in the improvement of Ghana’s finance sector in general.