The Kotani way: Let’s talk APIs
Since it was founded in 2020, Kotani Pay has connected thousands of people without internet access to public Blockchains. Over the years, we have seen more people access much-needed funds quickly, conveniently, and in an affordable way.
All this is made possible by the Kotani Pay API which ensures a smooth integration of local payment channels like mobile money and blockchain digital assets. To best understand how the Kotani Pay API works, let’s first look at what an API is.
What is an API?
For one, it’s an acronym for Application Programming Interface. If we break it down further, an application can be defined as any software with a distinctive function. Programming is the instructions given to a computer to perform a particular task. Where else, an interface is an interaction or communication between two applications. A simple definition of API is a mechanism that enables two software components to communicate with each other using a set of definitions and protocols. Think of an API as a messenger that delivers a request to the provider you’re requesting it from and then delivers the response back to you.
An API works between a client and server where the application sending a request is the client and the application responding to the request is hosted on the server. For the Kotani Pay USSD case, the API enables end users on feature phones to interact with blockchain networks. They have blockchain wallets that hold digital assets and through the USSD application, they are able to convert stablecoins to local fiat. The USSD app is the client requesting information and transaction requests and the blockchain network responding is the server, all facilitated by the Kotani Pay API.
More on APIs
To understand more about the Kotani Pay API we need to look at the types of APIs available. All APIs are not equal. They are classified according to their architectures and protocols that suit the unique needs of different businesses. These four categories are classified according to its scope of use.
- Private API/ Partner API
They are internal APIs designed to connect systems with data within a business. It mostly helps in enhancing the productivity of the team. An example of a private API is an organization’s employee performance application connected to the HR system.
2. Public API
These are APIs that are open to the public and can be used by anyone. They require moderate authorization and authentication and can be monetized by imposing a per-call cost when using them. This is common with businesses that are open to sharing their applications and data with other businesses such as Kotani Pay. Being a nominee for the digital public good, our API is open source and public for use and building on.
3. Composite APIs
They combine two or different APIs to create a sequence of related operations. They are built to address complex systems behaviors. The result is it can improve speed and performance over individual APIs. Through them, they allow a bundle of requests to get a unified response from different servers. An example would be an application that allows you to view three of your bank account balances in one place.
4. Partner APIs
They are only accessible to authorized developers to help in business-to-business partnerships. With it, only the partners have rights and license to access the API as they are paid for the services. Partner APIs have stronger authentication, security, and authorization mechanisms due to their exclusivity.
For APIs to operate, they require clear rules, structures, and constraints that govern its operation. Each category of API has distinctive characteristics serving a different purpose. They are in three categories.
Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) APIs
They invoke executable actions. The client completes a function (or procedure) on the server, and the server sends the output back to the client.
Simple object access protocol (SOAP)
They are mostly used to create web APIs. The client and server exchange messages using the XML, a text-based format for representing structured information.
Representational state transfer (REST)
In this category, the server uses this client input to start internal function and returns output data back to the client. The approach is flexible in its development and implementation. The API stores no data or status between requests.
Kotani Pay uses the REST API where the servers do not save client data between requests.
Kotani Pay API use cases
APIs serve several purposes, especially in business. The Kotani Pay API is used for integration between two applications that work together. The API integrates the blockchain network to African local payment channels.
When you look at the Universal Basic Income payouts, the Kotani Pay API integrates the UBI funders using blockchain technology to its beneficiaries’ blockchain wallet that is connected to their mobile money. The USSD code is the interface that the beneficiaries use to interact with the service. This gives them access to these funds both on feature phones and smartphones, without the need of an Internet connection.
Another Kotani Pay API use case is lending where borrowers can access DeFi loans. At the back end, the API facilitated the communication between Moola Market, a DeFi protocol, and the beneficiaries’ mobile money wallets. The funds were sent to their Kotani Pay public blockchain wallets and off-ramped directly to their mobile money wallets.
The gig working community benefit from the Kotani Pay API by ensuring that they are paid in a fast, secure, and affordable way. The Corsali application was able to integrate with Kotani Pay seamlessly connecting the application to gig workers’ mobile money all by dialing the USSD code.
Even in peer-to-peer cross-border transactions, the Kotani Pay API facilitates the transactions between the sender’s application platform to the receiver’s mobile money.
What is the process of using the Kotani Pay API?
We have seen several ways you can use the Kotani Pay API for your business or even personal transaction. So, how do you get started?
First, you need to get the access token. This contains the security credentials for the login session and identifies the user and the application. Once granted access, you can use the test environment as you build out your product or use the production environment to start processing transactions on the live API.
The Kotani Pay API is very simple yet robust, flexible, and adaptable. Our tech team offers great developer support to help you through your build don’t cycle. Beyond offering a seamless integration for our clients we also handle KYC, compliance and regulation to meet specific business needs.