What If Obopay Cannot Provide An API?

In my previous post Obopay For Businesses I talk about why online merchants need an API to interface with Obopay. In Why Micro-Retailers Need Mobile Payment Systems I also talk about why I believe mobile payment systems are going to flourish on a global scale.

My question now is what if I cannot get the help from Obopay that I seek? Will I turn to another mobile payment system? Well, I am fond of Obopay. I like their website. I have seen a video interview of CEO Carol Realini and she is very likeable. It seems they have a very noble motivation for providing this service, to reach the unbanked and enable them to participate in the global online economy. Whatever reason for not being able to help me, I do not think they willfully want to burst my bubble. They may be too busy or focused on another aspect on which they forecast the most growth.

Anyway, if I stuck with this provider for mobile payments, what could I do to automate the payment process so that I would not need to manually login to Obopay or manually send out text messages? The answer is a GSM modem attached to my server.

A GSM modem uses a SIM card and a real cellular service provider tied to the SIM card. It can function like a normal cellphone but in addition can be automated, since it is hooked up to a server running custom software. In my case I am interested in automating the text messaging to and from Obopay.

So here is the scenario. A buyer sends an Obopay payment to the cellphone number associated with my GSM modem. Obopay sends a notice (in the form of a text message) of the payment to my GSM modem. My GSM modem forwards this information to my custom software for recording and order fulfillment.

When a buyer receives the goods, the buyer notifies my system to release the funds to the seller. My custom software then uses the GSM modem to send an Obopay pament (in the form of a text message) to the seller. This completes the loop from buyer to seller.

Now my problem is finding the right GSM modem and getting someone to program the custom software. The other problem I might face is ascertaining Obopay will allow this commercial use of their system. I am confident they would because I would be promoting the use of their system. I would publicly promote Obopay on my website as a way to build user trust in my preferred payment system.