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How startups can use social media for massive growth_Eko

Social Media Strategy For Startups (A Data-Driven Approach)

By Blog 36 Comments

Confused if social media is the right channel for your startup?

 

Or perhaps worried that your startup does not have that kind of a budget to spend on social channels.

 

In this blog, first, we will show you some industry statistic and then discuss how you can leverage social media to increase your brand visibility and sales. We will also discuss how other Indian startups are using social media.

 

Let’s get you started!

 

 

  1. Why should startups use social media?

 

There are approx 3.2 billion people on social media be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, and this number is increasing rapidly every second.

 

61% of the Indian population use the internet every day

 

Frequency of internet usage in India

(Source: https://blog.hootsuite.com/11-people-join-social-every-second/)

 

In the next 10 years, companies and startups will leverage social media for customer engagement, operations, customer support, and brand building. 

 

According to Statista, India has the highest Facebook user base as compared to other countries in the world.

 

Number of Facebook users_country-wise

(Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/268136/top-15-countries-based-on-number-of-facebook-users/)

 

ShareChat a Bangalore-based startup is the desi social media channel that is growing at a fast pace and has a customer base of 30 million users and can be used in 14 Indian languages as mentioned by BBC News.

 

As per the news report provided by Twitter Inc, its daily active user base is 326 million. As per the latest news, the number of members in LinkedIn is 562 million out of which more than 50 million users are Indian.

 

Out of all the social media channels, the most interesting growth is seen on Instagram. The Instagram user base is growing by 5% per quarter and has already reached 1 Billion monthly active users in June 2018.

 

Compared to Instagram, Facebook’s monthly count grew by 3.14% and Snapchat’s daily user count grew by 2.13%.

 

Instagram Data

(Source: https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/20/instagram-1-billion-users/)

 

Today, social media is one of the efficient and cost-effective channels for startups who are strict on their budget and want to create brand awareness instantly.

 

You might be thinking that social media is not the place where your customers hang out the most, believe me, many companies still think the same but the data speaks otherwise.

 

In order to get your grip on the social media channels, your content should not be just like any other content out there. It has to be different and speak directly to your target audience.

 

More than 3.2 billion images are shared each day on social media out of which written articles (27%), videos (26%) and images (24%) are the most engaging posts as per the survey conducted by Clutch.

 

90% of the consumers say that watching a product video helps them make better purchase decisions and 64% of the consumers mostly buy the product online after watching a video about it as per the report by HubSpot.

 

Did you know?

Humans have the ability to recollect 65% of the visuals three days after watching it.

 

 

Tools to create social media graphics

 

While creating visuals try to avoid stocks images as it has crowded the internet like hell and does not look genuine.

 

Instead, create something of your own.

 

If you are a small startup and cannot afford a graphic designer go with free social media designing tools like Canva, Snappa or Adobe Spark. They have a number of templates and you can start designing within seconds.

 

(Of course, you will have to register at these sites first. Don’t worry, they won’t ask for your credit card details while signing up.)

 

To be frank, I am not a graphic designer but these tools are so handy that I do not have to start from scratch, I can design attractive images easily.

 

Alternatively, if you feel you can not invest your time creating graphics check out how to use stock images here.

 

 

 

 

  1. Most efficient social media channel for your startup

 

As of October 2018, Facebook has the most active users base. There are more than 80 million SME business pages on Facebook out of which 6 million startups use Facebook for advertisements.  (These companies are both B2B and B2C).  

 

Though Facebook tops the list on social media, companies also use Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to advertise and engage with their audience.

 

most popular social network worldwide

(Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/)

 

According to a recent survey conducted by PwC on consumer habits, when asked where they go to buy products online, 37% of the consumer said social media and 34% said retail websites.

 

Consumers want to know what their peers think about the product/services/brands before they go for a purchase. They want to receive promotional offers and engage with the ads relevant to them on social media.

 

The below data shows category wise purchase decision of consumers on social media. Food and Drink category has the highest influence on the purchase decision of the consumers, followed by gifts, fashion and so on.

 

 

data showing image and content influence purchase decision

(Source: https://wearesocial.com/blog/2018/11/how-social-media-inspiration-will-drive-sales-this-christmas)

 

 

Facebook is the most affordable channel even for startups to promote their business. Apart from cost, 30% of the marketers feel that Facebook gives them the highest ROI followed by Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

 

If you look at the data of our Facebook post, without promoting we received a good amount of organic traffic on the testimonial video of our customer:

 

Data of Facebook post_Eko

 

 

And with Boost Post (paid) we received  

 

 

Facebook boost post_Eko

 

 

In short, Facebook gives you a wide range of options to target your customers at the minimum possible budget.

 

To learn about Facebook marketing read the guide here.

 

You must be thinking which social media channel will work for me?

 

There is no specific answer to that. The channel where your target audience spends more time is where you should be present.

 

Although the data shows Facebook is the most widely used channel for business, it’s best to test other channels as well and measure the results.

 

Did you know?

On an average people spend 35 minutes on Facebook every day.

 

 

  1. How startups can increase their fan base and engage with them?

 

Until now we were discussing numbers as to what data says about social media and those numbers were astonishing. But when we start doing actual campaigns it’s a lot tough to grab audience attention and make them like your post/page, comment on it and share it.

 

As we discussed above the most engaging content on social media are visuals and videos. And if you remember more than 3.2 Billion images get shared on social media daily. Channels are already very crowded and noisy.

 

To stand out you need to do something unique and out of ordinary to grab your audience attention.

 

Let’s discuss what all you can do to increase your fan base and engage with them:

 

 

  • Know your audience pain points: The first rule of social media marketing is to know the pain point of your audience. Check Quora or Reddit to understand what kind of questions the audience asks. You can also ask your existing customers problems they face or conduct a survey to know the difficulties of your customers. Based on those questions you can create a content that solves your customer pain point and share it on social media to attract prospects.

For example, when buying a product online, we feel insecure to pay because we are unable to test, touch and feel the product. To solve this, companies have return policies and money back guarantee in place, that gives some security to us. Peak Pilates, went an extra mile to create a one-minute product video that gives their customers an idea on what they can expect from an exercise equipment. This increases the level of trust and differentiates them from their competitors. 

 

  • Create visual stuff: Visual here means videos, images, and infographics. Today, 1 in every 5 Facebook videos are a live broadcast. People prefer consuming content on the go. Write a blog, create explainer and product videos, tutorial videos, conduct live broadcast, or webinars to address their problem and provide a solution. But make sure your video is no longer than 2 minutes or you will lose your audience attention.

Long videos don’t work on Facebook anymore. Social Media Examiner CEO and Founder, Michael Stelzner said only 4 to 6 individuals are watching 50% of the video longer than 2 minutes on Facebook. Watch the whole video here:

 


 

 

  • Use Hashtags: Identify popular hashtags to attract the relevant audience or develop a brand-specific hashtag that people can relate to. For example, McDonald’s has created its unique hashtag #imlovinit. People relate to it and use it in their real life (especially posting on Twitter or Instagram after having an amazing burger).

 

McDonalds Hashtag

 

  • Spy on your competitor: It’s always good to keep an eye on your competitor’s social media pages. What kind of posts their audience are engaging with, which content has given them most likes, comments, and shares. You can use your competitors’ social media strategy and develop content around those topics and grab attention.
  • Create a content calendar: Once you have your content in place prepare a content calendar and follow it consistently. It’s best to choose the time and day when you will be sharing the content with your audience and stick to it.  Don’t leave your audience wondering when they will see the next post from you. After posting, always ask your audience to like, comment and share your post.  
  • Stay active on social media:  Always respond to your audience on social media. It shows that you care for your customers and you are always there for them. In fact, 59% of Americans believe that their queries get solved faster and its easier to communicate with the company on social media than on customer support portals.

 

Check out this 2-minute video by Neil Patel to get an insight into how you can increase your fan base on Facebook:

 

 

 

 

  1. How to leverage social media to generate leads?

 

In order to generate leads from social media, you need to have a specific landing page for that post. According to HubSpot companies with more than 40 landing pages have a better conversion rate.

 

For startups, this may be a difficult number to achieve in the starting, but it’s not impossible. For starters, you can ask your developer to create one landing page and tweak it from time to time and measure the results.

 

If you are new to the landing page design read this post.

 

For example, Suppose you are hosting a webinar and would like your audience to register for the same. Running a social media campaign without a landing page is not advisable.

 

Before you run a campaign make sure your landing page is ready with all the necessary details like:

 

  • Start Time, End Time and Date
  • Contact Form
  • Topic and what they will learn
  • Who will be the host
  • Who all are the speakers and what’s there profile

 

The landing page gives clarity to the audience as to what the webinar is all about and the chances of your audience filling the form increases.

 

Though the length of a landing page is debatable, data says, longer landing page increase the chance of conversion rate by 220%.

 

It all depends on the hit and trial method. For some companies, long landing page works for others short one does. You can always test which one works for you.

 

Always remember to add a link back to your website wherever you wish to generate a lead, increase subscription or sales from your social media post.

 

A post from Eko that helps generate leads from Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook:

 

Twitter Post_Eko

 

 

If someone wants to become our API Partner, it takes them to our landing page where they can fill their details.

 

 

Eko landing page

 

 

 

Did you know?

Sharing user-generated content increases the chance of conversion rate by up to 4.5%.

 

 

  1. Social Media strategies you can learn from these 5 Indian startups

 

Freecharge

To create brand awareness and buzz around social media Freecharge went for growth hacking marketing strategy. They focused on the key elements like:

  • Building a personality for their startup before jumping on the social media
  • Generated content that people can relate to
  • Focused on turn around time to respond to their customers.  

(Source: Social Samosa)

 

FreshMenu

The food startup FreshMenu mainly focus on content marketing strategy. Their content marketing does not generate sales directly through the content but gradually builds trust and brand image in the mind of the consumers. To expand their content marketing strategy this food-tech startup rolled out a magazine that educates and delights the customers with respect to everything about food.

(Source: exchange4media, buzzincontent)

 

Ola Cabs

Ola Cabs expanded its business by running Facebook ad campaigns. As mentioned earlier Facebook gives you multiple options to target your audience. Leveraging the features of Facebook,  Ola focused on targeting customers above 21 years and used gender wise, location wise and age wise targeting. It also segmented people based on whether they access Facebook on mobile or laptop.

(Source: DigitalVidya)

 

BYJU’S

An Edutech startup Byju’s started in 2011 with online video-based CAT classes. Their brand awareness happened through word of mouth. Since their target segment is students they started with TV commercials and saw that 75% of their app downloads happened outside metro cities. They use TV to advertise their app and once students download the app they then target parents through print ads. Recently Byju’s has deployed Feet-on-Street model where salespeople go door to door and give the demo of the product in places where social media is still expanding.

 

But that does not mean Byju’s is not at all active on social media. Statistics show that Byju’s occupies the topmost position in terms of most efficient brands and received 9.1 million engagement on its social media posts in 2017.

 

top 10 most efficient brands

(Source: VAIZLE, afaqs, Economic Times)

 

Grofers

Facebook and Twitter are the major social media channel for Grofers. They run different offers from time to time that is time-bound and hence creates urgency among the audience. Their target segment is the working population who have insufficient time to go for household shopping. It also started advertising on TV  to increase brand visibility.

(Source: MARKETING91)

 

Did you know?

As per YOURSTORY, Indian startups share 3 posts per day on their social media channels.

 

 

Over To You

 

Product and services are different for different companies and so is their social media strategy, as we saw above. A social media strategy that works for one company may not work for others. You will have to figure out what type of content works best for your target segment. If you do not know how to start, check out the social media pages of your competitors. It will give you an idea on the type of content your audience consumes.

 

What kind of content has worked for you in the past? Do share it in the comment below.

 

Cheers!

How To Choose A Money Transfer Platform

How To Choose The Best Money Transfer Platform For Your Business

By Money Transfer 61 Comments

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 2,292 Comments

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 8 Comments

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 9 Comments

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!

Bitnami