Safaricom plans ‘opening up’ M-Pesa to third-party developers

Money Transfer

Opening up M-Pesa to third party application developers and enabling money transfers to countries outside of Kenya are future plans for Safaricom’s mobile money service.

This is according to the mobile operator’s general manager for financial services, Betty Mwangi-Thuo.

“We are being careful but the open API (application programming interface) is in our road map,” Mwangi-Thuo said.

Apart from opening up the service to third party developers, Mwangi-Thuo has also revealed that the company is working closely with Vodafone to allow users to use the service even when in different countries.

“This is still a challenge but we are moving to that direction,” she said.

Currently, the M-Pesa platform can be used to receive cash from foreign companies in conjunction with Western Union. But the license does not allow users to send money to other economies just as banks do.

Safaricom made these revelations at the just concluded East Africa Com 2013 conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

Earlier this year, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) Monday said phone users deposited Sh205 billion into mobile money transfer systems of Safaricom, Orange, yu and Airtel compared to Sh117.36 billion deposited over a similar period in 2011.