Developers and distributors of mobile services in the Middle East in Africa (MEA) face many obstacles, primarily the costs and time involved for dedicated IT projects to integrate technical platforms. To help developers overcome these obstacles, Orange offers a suite of MEA APIs based on three essential building blocks: Communication, Distribution and Payment.
Dedicated APIs to take your service to the next level
Available in self-service and/or implemented via integrators for rapid access and short time-to-market, you can use these APIs as tools to:
- Communicate with your users with SMS APIs
- Expand your user base to feature phone users by creating and distributing a USSD service through #303# My Store
- Monetize your service via USSD and the Web with our Payment APIs, including Direct Carrier Billing MEA and Orange Money Web Payment
SMS APIs: make your service communicate
More than 700 African startups have subscribed to the SMS notification service offered by Orange. No matter the size of your company, you can build on our mobile network and IT platforms in the region with a range of 9 country-specific APIs.
These APIs are available in self-service and at very competitive prices. Communicating with your customers will be child’s play with our SMS APIs!
#303# My Store: distribute your service through the Orange MEA footprint
#303# My Store is a pan-African B2B2C platform being rolled out across the Orange MEA footprint of 20 countries, for a total customer base of more than 100 million.
Integrating the #303# My Store API enables you to develop USSD services independently—with support from Orange teams as needed. USSD is the main mode of communication used by Orange to interact with customers in MEA, accounting for millions of day-to-day uses: notifications, subscriptions, account top-ups, and more.
#303# My Store expands the reach of your service in two key ways:
- It removes the need for mobile internet access—enabling you to target the region’s many feature phone users
- Users in all countries within the Orange footprint will be able to access your service with a single short code: #303# (with the exception of Cameroon, where My Store is accessible through short code #203#).
With #303# My Store, customers will find your service in seconds and will be able to pay directly with their Orange airtime!
Payment APIs to monetize your service
If you want to make the most of the African e-commerce boom, you need solutions tailored to local markets, where few people use credit cards, and financial service providers are rare. As such, mobile digital solutions are the most effective way to bill users for your service.
Orange offers two major solutions based on a revenue-share model.
The Orange Direct Carrier Billing service for MEA (DCB MEA) enables you to bill Orange customers directly through their mobile prepaid balance. Carrier billing is reserved for small sums to pay for digital services, such as games, music, etc. This solution is ideal, for instance, to charge users who browse or subscribe to your service through USSD on #303# My Store.
When you apply for access to the DCB MEA service, you will be put in contact with our local aggregator according to your country of business.
With Orange Direct Carrier Billing MEA API, your customers will be billed from your service directly with their Orange communication credit. It is that easy!
Enable your users to purchase your goods and services online by building on the trust and reliability of Orange Money—one of the most recognized mobile finance solutions in the region.
Orange Money Web Payment is currently available to Orange Money merchants, who can integrate the API into their website with just a few lines of code.
Offer your customers a best-in-class customer experience through the Orange Money payment interface: it’s quick, easy and, most importantly, completely secure. They will love it!
MEA success stories with our APIs
APIs for agriculture
MLouma, a Senegalese startup, launched a virtual agricultural hub providing real-time information on the price, location and availability of farm products.
Formerly a Web-only platform, it was difficult and expensive to access for farmers in rural areas. Integrating the #303# My Store API gave the service a huge boost: now accessible by any phone, MLouma went from 1,000 to 75,000 users in 6 months.
The platform can now expand to new countries without any additional development, through the Orange #303# My Store service. MLouma also integrated the SMS API to notify users of products’ availability, and the DCB MEA service to charge USSD requests.
Spreading the news
The pan-African media group Jeune Afrique publishes print and web version of magazines covering African and international news, and offering analysis of key political and economic issues on the continent.
To reach the widest possible audience, Jeune Afrique developed a USSD version of its service, featuring content formatted to small screens and real-time updates. Jeune Afrique also uses the SMS API to notify its users, and the DCB MEA service to charge subscriptions, which users can pay with their communication credits.
After a successful launch in Cameroon, the USSD mobile version of Jeune Afrique’s service will expand across Africa with Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, and soon the rest of the Orange MEA footprint.
API availability by country in the Orange MEA footprint as of May 2017
Click on the ✓ symbol to access the API Overview on the Orange Developer portal. Watch this space for updates as our APIs launch in new countries!