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How To Choose A Money Transfer Platform

How To Choose The Best Money Transfer Platform For Your Business

By | Money Transfer

Do you know which features to look at before choosing a money transfer platform for your business?

 

There are a number of factors that define your money transfer business like platform success rate, integration time, pricing, etc.

 

So, if your answer to the above question is No, don’t worry, this blog will give you a checklist of 6 features you should refer to before choosing a money remittance platform.

 

 

  • Easy To Integrate

Is the platform Easy-to-Integrate?

 

east to integrate money transfer APIs

This should always be your first question when you discuss with a company about integrating their services into your website. Your business should not get affected if the integration takes longer (say a month).

 

For example, with Eko API Widget you can integrate multiple money transfer APIs and go live within a week.

 

Understand the integration process before you jump to conclusion. It’s wise to always keep your website developer in the loop if you are a non-technical person. He/she will be able to give you a clear estimate of the amount of time it will take to integrate.

 

Do check out their API documentation as a first step – Does it have sample responses, error codes, code snippets in different languages?

 

 

  • High Transaction Success Rate

high transaction success rate_EkoIt really hurts when a transaction fails or goes awaiting. Before you opt for a remittance money transfer service from a service provider, you should ask “What’s their transaction success rate or how many TPS (Transactions Per Second) their platform can handle?”

 

If you start using a service before asking this question and face frequent transaction failures, you may lose your customers fast and it will hamper your business.

 

 

 

  • Secure And Safe

Last year a news got viral when Amazon’s Alexa ordered dollhouses after hearing its name on TV for all those people who did not disable the voice ordering or did not add a password to their device.

 

Cryptocurrency is another industry that faces serious security issues. Take for example Bitcoin.  Their wallets have loopholes that can be easily exploited. Cyber attacks on Bitcoin are very much real. In fact, Bitcoin was one of the most targeted industries.

 

security protocols in APIs_EkoWe are surrounded by technology and sometimes even the most secure system gets hacked.

 

Adding security protocol in each API requests makes your system hack proof.

 

For example, to avoid any fraud, your system should ask for a secret PIN or OTP before making any transaction. This will make your transaction secure.

 

Also, make sure the sensitive data is encrypted from your server to your service provider’s server.

 

These features ensure a safe and secure transaction.

 

 

  • Dashboard To Manage Business

dashboard to manager businessThe dashboard should provide all necessary reports (like product-wise business growth, invoices, etc.) all in one place so that it’s easy for you to analyze the growth, compare month-wise profits and generate invoices.

 

It should give you a clear picture of how your money transfer business has performed and the profit you make out of your remittance business.

 

 

The dashboard that we give to our enterprise partners, helps them easily track their transactions and business growth.

 

 

  • Quality Of Customer Support

Even the finest technology sometimes face a technical issue. That’s normal. But what if the transaction is stuck and your customer is waiting outside your shop to transfer money?

quality of customer supportIt’s very important to ask your service provider “What’s their TAT (Turnaround Time)?” i.e. how much time do they take to resolve different kinds of problems such as

  1. Response Awaited
  2. Transfer done to wrong account
  3. eValue service for NEFT/RTGS/IMPS/Intra-banking

It is best to go with a company that gives 24*7*365 days support.

 

 

  • Pricing

We all get attracted to the product that offers more at the least price, but does that product help you build your brand successfully?

pricingPrice is important, but the cheapest product is not necessarily the best. Somewhere quality is always compromised either in terms of customer support, security, transaction issues or difficult integration process.

 

So, don’t let the price of the product define your business. Choose the service which best suits your requirements.

 

 

Since you are building your brand, you should tie up with a company and a platform with whom you can do long-term business, innovate continuously and implement new stuff easily.

 

You can not afford to invest time and money into multiple integrations.

 

 

Over To You

 

I hope this post will help you choose the best money transfer platform for your business.

 

If you know of any other feature in a money remittance platform that’s not listed here do let us know in the comment below. We would be happy to add it to this blog post.

 

If you are looking for a money transfer platform fill your name and contact number here or write to us at api.sales@eko.co.in and we will get you started instantly.

 

Share the blog and help your friends/family choose the best remittance platform.

 

To your success!

 

Eko API Widget

(Updated) Introducing API Widget!

By | Blog, Money Transfer, Remittance, Technology, Uncategorized

Eko was founded on the basic principle of enabling financial transactions for anybody from anywhere. In the evolution process, Eko pioneered domestic money transfer service where customers earning in cash could simply remit money to their family by visiting a nearby shop. This model brought about Retail 2.0 where every retail shop wanted money transfer service. This Rs. 1 lakh cr per month opportunity also attracted big and small companies in the fray.

 

Open Platform

Eko did a great job of establishing a tech-driven efficient retail network of +25k outlets achieving unit economics. This only means driving maximum business with fewer people and paper involved. We have a mantra at Eko to be “Paper-less and People-less”.

 

The retail model still had a limitation – the business generated was directly proportional to the number of retail outlets acquired. For example, if you have 10 front-line managers each managing 500 outlets, then if the number of front-line managers is doubled then only the business would be doubled. Being a tech company, we wanted to disrupt this equation.

 

In 2015, Eko finally decided to open its platform so that any other third party organization could run a money transfer services on top of Eko’s platform. This was truly revolutionary and democratic since it allowed Eko to service customers in those nooks and corners of the country where Eko did not have any front-line managers.

 

In 2 years, Eko has +200 enterprise partners processing double the amount of transactions than its own retail network.

 

Another Roadblock

Driving inspiration from the Android story, Eko decided to further build the enterprise platform where “Made in India” desi payment applications could be made. While the number of applications using Eko’s platform was increasing but there was another challenge – The small enterprise partners with small or no technology teams were taking significant time (~2 months) to integrate with APIs.

 

With a minimum design and UI/UX background, the small enterprises were struggling to get their services live thereby losing business numbers.

 

Eko’s Interface – “Connect”

On the retail side of Eko’s business, Eko developed a state-of-the-art progressive web app “Connect” combined with an in-house Interaction Framework and an API first back-end.

 

Interaction Framework is, in short, like a content management system for financial transactions. It defines a transaction in terms of one or more financial entities and how they interact with each other. This eases and automates the process of building dynamic yet simple and intuitive process flows for making financial transactions.

 

Open “Connect”

Eko opened Eko’s Connect UI as an API widget for our enterprise partners. Integrating Eko API widget in their application would take care of most API calls and give the enterprise a ready-made UI thereby requiring minimum coding.

 

Eko_Connect Widget

Connect has been built in a modular way using latest web technologies like Web Components, Shadow DOM, etc that enables us to expose and embed any part of the Connect into any other web app in a very secure and seamless manner. We will talk about how to integrate the API widget in detail in another post, meanwhile watch the below video to know more about API widget.

 

 

Widget Roadmap

Eko will further open more transactions like AePS (Aadhaar enabled Payment System), BBPS (Bharat Bill Payment System), recharge, etc on the API widget in future where simply you would change one parameter and the enterprise would be able to use it for other purposes as well.

 

Start your money transfer business here. For any queries drop a comment below or write to us at api.sales@eko.co.in  and we will get you started instantly.

Why Security is Essential for our API Partners? Security 2.0 is all you need to know!

By | Uncategorized

During current times of big cybercrimes and security hacks across the world, it is extremely important that your system is very secure. Especially, the industry that we work and the number of stakeholders like merchants, distributors, employees, etc involved, it is imperative for all DMT systems to be hack proof. As you scale your DMT business, your systems need to get more secure.

Current API Security System

Currently, we only ask for a static developer key for authentication and identification. We do communicate to our all API partners that their developer key is confidential and should not be shared with anyone. And only “developer_key” is not enough to secure the API call. There is a still some chance of a man in the middle attack. If the developer key gets compromised then anyone can misuse your credentials to do transactions. These security compromises can be catastrophic in remittance businesses. We have seen 2-3 such security compromises every 6 months for our API partners. Eko identifies these risks and has come with an improved API security system.

 

Security 2.0

We have introduced two new parameters in our API ecosystem which will improve the API security

  1. secret-key
  2. secret-key-timestamp

The above 2 parameters need to be passed in each API call and should be passed in the request header like developer_key.

 

 

How to generate the secret key?

Steps to generate the secret-key and secret-key-timestamp

  1. Encode key using base64 encoding technique
  2. Generate current date in milliseconds which will work as salt i.e. secret-key-timestamp
  3. Compute the signature by hashing salt and base64 encoded key using Hash-based message authentication code HMAC and SHA256
  4. Encode the signature using base64 encoding technique and use this as secret-key

Now IMPS is always available for all transactions on Connect!

By | Uncategorized

Scheduled Transaction

 

A major pain point for our distributors, API partners and merchants was the unavailability of IMPS for certain recipient banks while remitting money. In such situations, we would compel our partners our partners to necessarily use NEFT. This severely affected the customer experience due to the time taken to reach the recipient. We wanted to give the luxury of immediate money remittance services to our end-customers at all times. This is the underlying motivation behind giving the capability to schedule transactions.

Even if a recipient bank IMPS is down, the merchant is shown IMPS as a payment mode and the transaction proceeds as usual. Except he/she is shown a message that their transaction will get scheduled and kept in a queue. A scheduler at the back-end will keep trying to push the transactions every 15 minutes. This process will keep recurring for approximately an hour (this time is configurable). After this, the scheduler stops and the merchant is notified about the transaction. The merchant now has three options:

  • Reschedule the transaction: The scheduler starts again and tries the same process for another hour.
  • Convert to NEFT: The transaction is pushed with NEFT as the payment mode.
  • Refund: The merchant can initiate a refund and return the money to the customer.

Image result for Money transfer

 

In case the merchant forgets to choose one of the three actions above, then the system auto-refunds the transaction after a maximum 24 hours. In this way, there are now transactions lying idle in Eko system.

The auto-refund feature further acts as a proxy to convey adoption of this feature. The higher the system auto refunds, the lower the adoption. Additionally, we are able to drive the adoption as we can also uniquely identify the auto-refund transactions and the merchants executing those transactions. This has helped us drive the numbers and support additional business volumes that were lost to us before.

API + RESTful API. An introduction. Plain and simple

By | Others

Connect!

From Appliance Plumbing Interface…

Imagine that you have just designed a water faucet/ tap which dispenses water only if your fingerprint matches (however strange this may sound, I believe creativity should know no bounds ;). Now, for this to be actually used in a real wash-room or a kitchen sink, it needs to have a receptacle that exactly fits the common water pipe end-point. Lets say, it needs to have the female threaded end 1/2 inch diameter pipe to couple neatly into the male threaded pipe end. In other words, this new contraption of yours needs to follow the same plumbing interface definition as the pipes it needs to work with.

…To Application Programming Interface

Now, imagine if you were more of a software dude/ dudette than a pipe-hardware one. You might design a piece of software that will allow money from your bank to flow out only if your fingerprint matches (this sounds a lot more familiar, right? :). For this widgety creation of yours to be actually used in a real banking app or website, it needs to be able to be ‘integrated’ into the money flow interface definition of the bank(s). As a developer of this new functionality, you therefore need to follow what is called as the Application Programming Interface (API) definition exposed by the banking entity that you intend your software to work with. There you are! You have been hereby introduced to APIs. Simple right?

Why API?

The advantage of defining an API is this. Once defined, and published, it opens your platform up to a limitless set of different applications by independent innovators. So you might see some developer making an app that sends money from a bank account every time someone likes her profile pic on Facebook, or another who develops an app that makes a donation to a random NGO every time you use a swear-word on twitter…I hope you get the drift. There is no limit to the variety of innovation this can spawn. And all this while you enjoy a nice cold iced lemon tea reading some news-feed on your tab.

In short, APIs decouple application use cases, innovation, revenue generation and growth from your core platform. The better defined your APIs and the partner on-boarding processes are, the more you can relax and count the beans 🙂

API is also important because it helps make as much sense of the options available, to the humans implementing it as it does to the machines consuming or exposing it. This is an act of fine balance.

An API once said, “I need some REST”

Lets now focus on something a bit more technical. RESTful APIs. For a start, Restful does not refer to the relaxation that I’d mentioned a short while ago. The REST in RESTful refers to REpresentational State Transfers.

From verbs…

A lot of us have come from the functional programming world. In simple terms, the interfaces defined there would correspond to the verbs that were being exposed. For instance, in a banking app, you could have an interface defined as getBalance(account) which would return the account balance for a given account. Or, sendMoney(account1, account2). Or, listAccounts(customer). These functions could also be exposed as APIs and they do something based on its input parameters. The response of the API call would be the action defined as the verb and output parameters that would provide more details on the action done.

This kind of API has one inherent problem. An API description could be really arbitrary and it would be difficult to imagine all the functionality exposed without having explicit access to the API creator’s documentation.

…To nouns

RESTful APIs are a different breed altogether. They focus a lot more on the resources or nouns, instead of verbs. For example, ‘customer’ could be a resource, ‘account’ could be another and so on. As for the actual action that you would want to take with a resource, REST simplifies it all down to a set of pre-defined verbs in the WWW HTTP definition.

When you visit google.com, for example; the browser actually executes a GET request for the index page based on the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) http://www.google.com.

The idea (RESTful lends its origin to the doctoral thesis of a genius named Roy Fielding) is that, given these constant verbs; All that a developer needs to know is the set of objects/ nouns that he might have to deal with.

For instance, assume a simplified banking application. It may have a resource called customer or transaction or account. So, in the simplest sense, assume the base URL is https://myxyzbank. Now the base URL is like to rootdirectory for all resources (nouns). So, accessing a customer within the bank would likely be baseURL/customer.

There are a few more properties of RESTful APIs. I would only want to touch upon the fact that these API calls are also stateless. That is, a RESTful API call is in itself complete and independent of previous or future calls. In other words, the API calling entity’s state is not preserved on the server in between calls.

Singular and plural

Also noteworthy is the singular and plural use of these nouns.

While /customer/id refers to a particular customer with a given ‘id’ as its identity;

/customers/ refers to all the customers collectively.

So, executing an HTTP GET request on https://myxyzbank/customers should likely return a list of all customers within the bank, executing GET request on https://myxyzbank/customer/id would return a particular customer only. So, simple plain English “get a list of all customers in this bank” translates to an API, GET on https://myxyzbank/customers/ and the bank should spew out its long list (Of course it ain’t that simple. Security, roles, access and privileges have been excluded from the scope of this article).

Now back to the 4 main primitives and why they are pretty much sufficient for most applications.

Get, Post, Put and Delete is all you need

GET- as the name suggests would simply fetch the resource(s) identified
POST- use it when you intend to create a new resource(s) on the server
PUT- updates an existing resource on the server
DELETE- deletes the identified resource(s)

This sounds a lot like CRUD framework (Create, Read, Update, Delete) used for data storage.

Parameters

Additional parameters could also be passed to and from the server along with each resource request. This data could be in different formats, the most popular and elegant one around is called JSON (Java Script Object Notation). Another excessively verbose and elaborate protocol from our good ‘ol days is XML (Extensible Markup Language).

Beauty and the beast

There is a certain sense of beauty, logic, crispness and cleanness in the structure of truly RESTful API. The sad part is that most implement it with varying degrees of RESTful-ness. To the extent that I have even seen a bank call GET /getCustomerBalance as a RESTful API! That’s a verb on verb action and totally looses the plot.


My attempt was to only provide a plain and simple outline to API and RESTful API. There is a lot more in it and the world wide web should be your best guide.

May the POST be with you!
And May is hot!

Further reading:


O’Reilly,

Restful Web APIs https://www.amazon.in/dp/9351102971/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_2A0fzbJN3CK5T


Eko ties up with Prabhu Money to Boost Money Remittance Business to Nepal

By | Others

Eko has expanded its Indo-Nepal remittance (money transfer) services in partnership with Prabhu Money Transfer. Through these integrations, Eko enables it’s agents to remit money to a wider audience in Nepal. Eko’s first international tie-up for remittance services was with Nepal’s Prabhu Money Group in 2016. The service will benefit 30 lakh Nepali migrants living across India.

WhatsApp Image 2017-05-13 at 12.04.12 PM

The service enables Indian and Nepali citizens living in India to send money to their dear ones in Nepal, and the recipient can avail the cash “instantly”. Citizens of both the countries can use the remittance service in the form of cash to cash, cash to bank account, cash to co-operative bank account and through top-up remittance cards. Eko has an India wide network of retail agent outlets that provide various financial services to customers. For using the Indo-Nepal service, users need to provide their KYC to an Eko retail agent. The remitter needs to provide his Indian or Nepali identity proof, while the recipient needs to show his identity proof in Nepal to receive the cash (in case of cash to cash transfer).

Abhishek Sinha, cofounder and chief executive officer, Eko shared, “This expansion is another big achievement for Eko. Millions of Nepali citizens move to India for better career opportunities and to earn their livelihood. Sending money to their families in Nepal has always been a major challenge for them. This service will help Indo–Nepal migrants remit money to their loved ones in a faster, easier and secure way, and will also add to the revenue opportunity for Eko agents and distribution partners. This is yet another milestone in our journey towards establishing international tie-ups for money remittance.

He further added “Indo-Nepal remittance business is estimated to grow to rupees 200 crore per annum and we look forward to capture the opportunity, with our expertise in remittance business, our India wide network of Eko retail agents and now a Nepal wide network of remittance disbursal agents, branches and ATMs through this partnership with Prabhu money Transfer

Till now, Eko platform has securely processed more than rupees 5.90 crore. With Eko, a remitter can do transactions of 50,000 rupees per day and is allowed up to 12 transactions in a year. A fee of 150 rupees is charged for remitting up to 30,000 rupees and 200 rupees for remitting up to 50,000.

Most popular mobile devices in the Eko merchant network

By | Money Transfer, Remittance, Technology, Wallet

Eko works with a select network of almost 10,000 merchants across almost all the states in India who facilitate remittance services for our customers.

A good portion of our merchants transact on smart-devices. The following is a glimpse of the popular device (manufacturers) that our merchants have used in Aug/ Sept 2016:

ekodevicessep16

Samsung, Xiomi and Micromax win,
followed closely by LYF, Lenovo and Vivo,
surprisingly even Apple figures!

Smartphones ki jay!

Introducing Connect Doodles. A platform that celebrates :)

By | Others

The New Connect portal that our partners and merchants use, is a dynamic platform that has a life of its own! In India, we celebrate our diversity through festivals. Each festival has its own colors, sights, experiences and sounds. Beginning this month, Connect too will participate in each such celebration by sporting its own colors through campaigns, festive donations and associated online services.

Therefore, introducing Connect Doodles (of course, inspired by Google Doodles).

Featured here are our August Connect Doodles:

Independence Day. August 15th

connect_logo_indipendence_day

Rakshabandhan. August 18th

connect_logo_rakhi

Janmashthami. August 25th

connect_logo_janmashtami

Connect. Celebrate life. Celebrate diversity.

Celebrate sending money home 🙂

Bitnami