Telecel launches TeleCash API. Invites developers, merchants to integrate

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

telecash-ussdExciting week of payments indeed! We can exclusively reveal that TeleCash, the mobile money service provided by Telecel Zimbabwe, has a live API and the mobile operator is now inviting developers and merchants to come integrate. We got confirmation today from the company’s Mobile Financial Services Director, Nkosinathi Ncube.

Currently, Webdev (the company behind Paynow) is working on integrating the service to its internet payments gateway, Ncube told us. “The TeleCash API is LIVE and open to all developers and online merchants, and we invite all potential developers or merchants to come and connect with TeleCash,” he said.

Telecel Zimbabwe is the first company to openly invite developers and expose its API to the tech ecosystem in Zimbabwe. Developers, both local and regional, have been complaining for a while now that the main mobile money player, Econet, won’t open up its EcoCash platform to developers so they can push and pull transactions from it.

Ncube explained how the online payments feature works: “Customer will generate an OTP (One Time Password) valid for 30 minutes from the TeleCash USSD Menu *888# > Online Payments Option, the customer will enter this OTP on the Merchant Site or Channel, which will then invoke the TeleCash API to move funds in a secure manner.”

Ncube also provided a diagram that shows how it works:

If you’re a developer and have been part of the clamouring for mobile operators to expose APIs to the developer community, we hope those cries were genuine and that this will unleash payments innovations on the web and mobile.


  1. lavhu

    wow GREAT!!. no links to official API documentation?

    1. L.S.M Kabweza

      Hi Lavhu, unfortunately we don’t have links to it, but we’re sure Telecel will provide.

  2. Mhizha

    Where do we get the link to the API? Rather where do we sign up for this?

  3. Mhizha

    PayPal didn’t come through today. Ecocash and Telecash both didn’t provide generally available APIs- How about we get verified news. Because how do you release an API and have no sign up or any technical documentation on the API?

    1. L.S.M Kabweza

      They are inviting developers to get in touch. If you are a developer and are interested, get in touch with Telecel I’m sure they’re phasing it.

      1. Tapiwa

        Pay attention: Telecel is demonstrating how not to launch an API in 4 easy steps:
        1. Don’t specify if its a soft-launch/beta/public launch
        2. Do not bother to set up a landing page, or even a sign up page if registration is not fully public
        3. Give a vague “contact us” to those who are interested. Prefer Fax-only enquiries for your (web?) API
        4. Never shed additional details on API technology. Avoid mentionong the API protocol. No one cares if it Corba, XML or smoke-signals. A half-baked sequence diagram is enough.

  4. Trevor Sibanda

    very exciting indeed, the Telecel API seems more secure.

    But its not very flexible 🙁 ANyways we have to wait for the official documentation to prove me wrong (i hope).

    Rather stick to and let someone else handle the nitty gritties for now.

  5. kay

    I can’t see the link to the invitation and sign up page anywhere on the web, please help.

    1. L.S.M Kabweza

      Get in touch with Telecel

  6. Kuks

    I hope when i come to Zim early July the infor will be ready because it is very difficult for us to get infor when we are outside the country— I wonder why?

  7. purpledragon

    After looking at their diagram i would this API is very simple and should be very easy to integrate into a website. its a good idea for them to use OTP. The setup is very flexible. I like it.

  8. Analyst

    Has anyone used this API, if so can you add a link of your site just want to see it working?

  9. pondem

    still waiting for proper documentation of how to use this API, preferably online please………..

  10. Anonymous

    The telecel website doesn’t even have a link to the api’s documentation. A complete waste of time!