Some of the tech developers that attended the MTN Open API Launch that took place at The Innovation Village in Ntinda

MTN Uganda became the first telco to publically open its Mobile Money API to developers. Being a new API, some developers, business owners and investors have questions about the MTN API.

We have compiled a list of facts, answers, and questions (FAQs) to cater for those that might need extra information without having to make a call to customer care or visit an MTN outlet.

  1. What is the MTN Open API about?

The MTN Open API is an initiative in which MTN has exposed to the public API end points for accessing MTN Mobile Money services.  To access the exposed API endpoints, users simply sign up on the online portal at https://momodeveloper.mtn.com

  1. How does the MTN Open API benefit Innovators and Entrepreneurs?

The Open API will ease the process of integrating to MTN Mobile Money and also enhance value for innovators who want to use Mobile Money as a payment solution in their products and services. How is this achieved?

  1. a) Monetization of innovation; Exposing the API end points for Mobile Money to the public will make it easy for any innovator to consider monetizing their service collecting with MTN Mobile Money
  2. b) Empowerment and convenience; Users don’t have to visit MTN offices to initiate integration with Mobile Money. They can initiate and complete integration via the MTN Open API online portal
  3. c) More innovations; The Open API provides a sandbox environment for innovators to experiment concepts thus stimulating innovation. Access to API enables developers to innovate on transaction flow vs what a standard integration would provide
  4. d) Quicker access to Market; Once development of the service is completed and testing is done; integration to go live via the Open API takes approximately 10 days as opposed to over 3-4 months previously experienced.
  5. What is the MTN Open API Product offering?

The exposed API endpoints have been packaged to enable the partner/developer to build any or all the following products.

  1. Collections – For receiving payments for Good and Services
  2. Disbursements – Enabling a partner to make payments/disbursements to a list of specified recipients.
  3. Remittances: This enables the customer/partner to transfer and receive money across borders.
  4. Collection Widget: A user can download the widget and enable mobile Money payments off an E-commerce site
  5. What are the available APIs?

Endpoints for the following APIs have been exposed:

No. API Description
1 Debit same as Requesttopay Used to collect Mobile Money as payment for goods and services.
E.g.:
*A shoe seller offering purchase of shoes by Mobile Money
*A website collecting subscriptions using Mobile Money
2 DebitCompleted Because the Debit has user interaction, this API will allow a merchant be aware of the payment by imitating a notification to the Merchant when a user pays e.g. the shoe seller will get notified when a PIN is entered by the user
3 Sptranfser Used by a Merchant to pay out, e.g. a betting company paying from their pocket into a subscribers wallet
4 Gettransactionstatus Used to get the transaction status of a transaction, if the same shoe seller doesn’t get feedback they can query transaction status
5 GetBalance Used to query own balance, the shoe seller wants to know how much they have collected
6 ValidateAccountHolder Used to confirm before a transaction that the user is a Mobile Money user, In case they are not, a false will be returned to the merchant
7 Preapproval In cases where merchants / companies collect money automatically, this will request the user to enter a pin and the merchant can then collect money without the user entering a PIN, e.g. the Shoe seller sells the shoes in 5 installments, after the first installment the rest are auto deducted
8 PreapprovalCompleted Same as Debitcompleted, Merchant is notified if the user has agreed to the terms of automatically collecting funds.

 

  1. Are the APIs accessed only within Uganda?

The MTN Open API portal and endpoints are open to both local and international innovators to use as long as they comply with the terms and conditions of using the API which include among others compliance to regulatory requirements and policies including but not limited to ‘Know Your Customer (KYC), AML Act among others.

  1. If I develop a product on the MTN Open API, will my services be accessed in other countries where MTN is operating?

The Open API enables you to develop and commercialize services that are consumable within a specific market/country. Currently the Open API is only available in Uganda.  In the future, we intend to extend the scope of the Open API to other MTN operations.

  1. Can the Open API endpoints be used for services accessed via USSD?

Yes. Services created can be accessed via Web, App and USSD channels.

  1. How do I get to access and use the MTN Open API?

Visit https://momodeveloper.mtn.com and Sign Up. Sign Up is FREE

 

**Credit: MTN Uganda