Tag: developer

Meet Ben – Technology Specialist

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Although a developer by trade, Ben has proven to be quite the estate agent since joining NOW Money in September 2017. Not only has he been driving NOW Money’s technology to the next level, he’s also taken on the office move. He can code and build flat-pack furniture – what more could a start-up want?

Tell us about your role here

I’m currently working on the technology which on-boards customers to the NOW Money platform. The on-boarding process is how we identify customers, collect all regulatory information from them and prevent fraudulent accounts being created.

The job involves testing lots of different technologies and using them across lots of different platforms. The process so far has allowed me to dive into all of the latest RegTech and biometric innovations. There’s some really advanced technologies out there – it’s really great to be working alongside those at the forefront of the industry.

What is your first short-term goal within the company?

Other than really improving the application, my secret goal has been to relocate the NOW Money office as close to my apartment as possible.

What do you like most about working for a start-up?

Pretty much everything. I love working in small teams trying to do big things, and the feeling that we’re all really motivated, heading towards the same goal. Oh, and also no pointless meetings!

What are you most excited about over the next few months?

Seeing the stuff I’m working on going into production. Everything we do at NOW Money has the chance to change people’s lives, and the company has great potential to do some amazing things over the next few months. We get closer to these everyday.

What were you doing before you joined NOW Money?

I’ve been in the UAE for ten years now. Originally I came here to work for Dubizzle, which, at the time, was a start-up of similar size to NOW Money today.

After seven years at Dubizzle I was keen to do the start-up thing again, this time right from the start. So, I co-founded a fitness technology start-up, as well as working with other start-ups remotely.

If you weren’t with NOW Money, what would you be doing?

I’ve been really interested in FinTech for a while now. If I wasn’t with NOW Money, I’d probably be developing my own cryptocurrency.

Start-ups attract people who can’t sit still. What do you do when you’re not developing things?

Usually riding one of my bikes at Al Qudra, running somewhere, or eating copious amounts of burritos at Taqado.

How do you let your hair down?

Some sort of hop-based-bevaerage, maybe of the German weiß variety. Aside from that I love travelling and visiting new places, preferably ones with great vegan food options!

Decoding: APIs

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Hi, I’m Niraj, Lead Developer for NOW Money. My life over the past few months has involved many late nights and weekend sprints to get the NOW Money app ready for launch. We’re building a platform which has to be easy to use, fast, secure and importantly it has to connect to our FX partners, so that our users can remit their wages back home from the UAE.

I know you’re wondering how we connect and interact with these FX partners… Well, it’s actually quite easy. We do it using a little acronym called an API, otherwise known as an Application Programming Interface.

You may have heard the term before and brushed it off as something that only geeks understand. Fair enough. It’s a widely-used term in computer science fields, but not so much a household term. But as technology increasingly infiltrates the world, it will become mainstream soon enough, so get ahead of the game!

Despite popular belief, APIs are really quite easy to understand, and I’m going to explain to you just how they work and why they’re so essential to NOW Money (and to anyone working in technology).

In brief, an API is a set of processes, functions and tools for building software applications, or “apps” for short. Examples of apps are a word processor, spreadsheet, web browser, game etc.

An API also defines how software components should interact with each other.

There are two types of API; open or closed. An open API means that anyone can access, view and use it to integrate into their own software. Examples of companies with open APIs are Twitter and Facebook – it’s easy to integrate with these companies.

A closed or private API is the exact opposite of an open one. They are closed to the public, and usually only facilitate internal functions.

Simply put, you can think of an API as an agreement between two people, saying:

“If you ask me to do this action, I will respond by doing this action or providing this information”.

At NOW Money we’re using an open API which allows us to easily interact with our remittance partners. We’re also currently integrating with APIs that will enable our users to remit money through our partners, and transfer money from cards to pay bills and top up mobiles.

Here’s a diagram to explain:

 

We are also using closed APIs too, allowing our mobile app to connect with our servers (more on servers in another post). These APIs are internal to NOW Money, and facilitate the functionality we provide to our users.

There’s no real limit nowadays as to what we at NOW Money, or anyone, can integrate with. There are thousands of open APIs out there, from PayPal or Stripe for payment processing and accepting credit and debit cards, to Facebook, Google or Twitter for social features. So really, the world is our oyster!