Leveraging APIs to Address Financial Inclusion
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a global initiative of more than 30 development organizations which is housed at the World Bank, works to advance financial inclusion. CGAP’s portfolio of projects includes work with digital financial services providers in emerging markets to open APIs. Financial service providers like MTN in Uganda, Wave Money in Myanmar and Zoona in Zambia have the potential to provide their digital financial services as API-enabled capabilities that could then be used by third party developers to create new financial and non-financial products. This is already happening in the region: Paystack’s payments APIs are used to create the app PayLater which lets small businesses better manage their cash flow through short-term loans, while Schoolable uses Flutterwave APIs to create a school payments plan app for school administrations and for parents.
While the CGAP team is working with several partners to support demonstration projects, they have also:
- Launched a dashboard catalog of all of the emerging APIs in the region to track activity and demonstrate what is possible
- Published blog posts on industry learnings in agile management, go to market strategies, and developer engagement.
- Released practical primers on the value of open APIs, the API maturity model and on API pricing.
- Mapped a product framework that outlines what sort of open API products are being built.
Over the next year, CGAP’s delivery of new resources on open APIs is expected to increase, as the work the team has done on demonstration projects reaches fruition and they become ready to share further insights on the implementation work their partners are currently doing to make open APIs more available for use in services for the unbanked. You can also subscribe to their newsletter to keep up to date.