All you need to know about the 2022 MTN MoMo API Hackathon!

MTN-Hack

MTN was established in South Africa at the dawn of democracy in 1994. It has since grown to be Africa’s largest mobile network operator, sharing the benefits of modern connected life with over 270 million customers in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

MTN is also a leading Fintech operator and MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) is available in those markets across Africa. MTN is seeking businesses, entrepreneurs and developers across the continent to innovate around and leverage Mobile Money to accelerate financial inclusion and payment digitization using their MoMo API.

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Wait, what is an API?

API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface, which is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. Each time you use an app like Facebook, send an instant message or check the weather on your phone, you’re using an API.

So, What is Momo API Hackathon?

MTN Group’s Mobile Money Application Interface (API) is inviting developers across several markets to participate in an Open API Hackathon, with a challenge to create a mobile application or web application that uses the MoMo API.

The hackathon will be the second conducted by MTN Group Fintech and will take place in the following countries: eSwatini, Zambia, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Uganda, Cameroon, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Guinea Conakry.

Developers will compete to create an innovative application for the markets in which they are registered, which can process financial transactions with added capabilities that go beyond processing payments and drive both financial inclusion and literacy.

“MTN is committed to extending financial and digital inclusion across the continent in furtherance of its strategy to build a pan-African Fintech platform that will power the digital economy and serve as a catalyst for social and economic growth in Africa,” said Serigne Dioum, MTN Group Chief Fintech Officer.

“With our Open API Platform, we reach out to Africa’s resourceful talents and enable them to grow and create opportunities by leveraging our MoMo Platform. We have no doubt that it is by collaborating with the talents of Africa that we will expand the service offering available on MoMo,” he added.

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About the challenge:

The Challenge is being hosted by Hacker Earth Inc and it’s an online one. Registration to participate in the challenge is free of charge.

  • The challenge runs from 18 July 2022 until 9 September 2022.
  • Developers will have 4 weeks to submit their idea of an innovative financial and transactional app that must include the usage of MTN Mobile Money APIs
  • The developers are required to create a mobile application that uses MTN MoMo APIs; the mobile application needs to target consumers, merchants or businesses.
  • The application must provide a practical and valuable solution that can be deployed in the market where the applicants have registered and can cover use cases beyond payment but must utilise MTN MoMo APIs.
  • MTN in each participating country will select the top 12 applicants to progress to the prototyping phase.
  • The preselected applicants will be required to make a live demo of their application to the adjudicator.
  • Interested developers can find out more here.

Idea Submission Guidelines 

Please follow these guidelines while making your idea submission: 

Your idea submission must include the following: 

  • Idea Title: Written on the cover page
  • Problem Statement: What is the specific problem?
  • Approach: How will you solve it? Problem by technology (your solution)?
  • Overview with a diagram: Share your solutions/prototype mock image & business model with a diagram

Project Submission Guidelines 

Please follow these guidelines while making your final project submission: 

  • You may submit your project as many times as your like. Only the final submission will be judged.
  • All projects must contain the following in their submission
    • Project overview (3-4 sentences explaining what you built) 
    • Link to the code on GitHub 
    • A presentation (in the form of PowerPoint or YouTube video) of your project
      • YouTube – no longer than 4 minutes 
      • PowerPoint – no more than 12 slides

The Prizes

Finalists stand the chance to win up to USD 5,000 in prize money in their respective countries. Last year, the finalists won USD 2,500 so it has been doubled.

So what the above means is that; the total pool prize is USD 100,000 since they are ten countries invited to participate.

FAQs


Some of the frequently asked questions regarding this online Hackathon include;

  1. Do I need to pay any money to register for the Hackathon? No. You do not have to pay anything to anyone to register yourself for any Hackathon on HackerEarth.
  2. Do I need to have any specific qualifications to be a participant in the Hackathon? If you love to code, you are more than welcome to participate in the Hackathon.
  3. How do I submit what I have made for the Hackathon? You have to develop the application on your local system and submit it on HackerEarth in tar/zip file format along with instructions to run the application and source code.
  4. Do we need to have the entire idea fully working? The entire idea need not be fully implemented however, the submission should be functional so that it can be reviewed by the judges.
  5. How is the environment? Will your environment support any language? Will you provide any IDE and DB for us to work on ideas? You have to develop the entire software application on your local system and submit it on HackerEarth in tar/zip file format along with instructions to run the application and source code.

Conclusion

The challenge is still open and you can either build a team from the already registered members or register and invite your own team members. There are over 900 registered participants by the time of writing this article and I have already created my own team since registration is still on.

To understand more of the Hackathon rules, read about the terms and conditions here.

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