Photo by Carlos Muza / Unsplash

What's an API? And how can it save you time and money?

business automation Nov 15, 2022

Let’s begin by saying that if you’re not a techie, it could require a lot of brain power 🧠 to get technology terms. So, in order to prevent boredom or confusion from creeping, we’re going to try to keep things simple (for yours and our sakes 😅)

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Quick Look: What’s an API?

First question first, what is an API (Application Programming Interface)? An API exists to facilitate communication between two different software components. APIs use definitions and protocols to do this. APIs exist everywhere in our lives. Each time you use an app, like the Weather app on your phone, you are using an API.

APIs - A History

“I wonder about the history of APIs and how they came to be” - said no one ever (unless you’re an awesome person in finance and software).

We never turn down a learning opportunity and we think this is pretty cool so hear us out 👂.

APIs are old. Older than PCs! We found APIs in library systems and were primarily used within local environments. Over time, a few decades to be exact, APIs expanded beyond local systems and when technology really boomed in the 2000s, APIs became an integral part of remote integration. Pretty cool, right? 😎

How Does an API Work?

Technically, it looks like this:

You open an app on your phone → app connects to the Internet and sends relevant data to a server → the server receives the data, reads it, does what the data tells it to, and sends it back to your phone → your app will interpret the info received and displays what you’re looking for in a way you understand.

We mentioned the Weather app before. So put into a real use case, it goes like this:

  1. Local weather bureau has daily weather data
  2. You open the Weather app on your phone
  3. The app connects to the weather bureau’s system
  4. API steps in with communication between your phone and the system
  5. Weather information is displayed on your screen

How Does an API Help Me?

Increased Security

For starters, you can put data to use and also add a layer of security.

The API acts as a buffer between your system and the public servers. Because of the API that stands in between, your phone is never exposed to servers and vice versa. The server and your phone are only sharing and receiving necessary information - and not what can compromise your security and privacy.

It’s how our SmartCreds and machine learning work! With SmartCreds, you can submit evidence of your credential without ever having to create or send a copy of sensitive documents. No copies = no security breach. We’ve got it on lockdown 🔒

They also allow us to confirm key credential information (like validity date, and that it belongs to you) without confirming sensitive information that the receiver shouldn’t see (like security codes).

Saves Money

Imagine having to pay someone’s full annual salary just to get some manual checks done and details inputted into your system. What if you could save that money (or 2x or 3x that depending on how many people you have doing the work) and put it towards departments that can further product development, marketing, or customer support?

Yep, you can do that with CredShare! We’re easy to use and integrate with your existing systems so you won’t have to learn something new - we work WITH you!

Saves Time

Not having to do repetitive tasks that take a regular person an hour to do will save you so much time. Think about how you can put your workforce’s talent to better use than doing something that can be automated with APIs.

CredShare does the work for you. We do the checking and verifying (all in one click), and we do the reminding when a cred or licence is about to expire. All you have to do is keep an eye on the dashboard!

Eliminates Human Error

Mistakes happen, but hey, that’s life right? But what if we told you that you can eliminate human error with automated processes? Yes, APIs can remove mistakes with one click of your mouse.

Our machine learning will make sure the info extracted from your original licence or cred is error-free. We’ll also give you real-time or close to real-time updates on the status of credentials or licences thanks to our API.

Improves Productivity

We’re sure you’ve heard of employee burnout and reduced morale, all of which can impact your bottom line. If you can do away with all boring admin work and replace it with more meaningful tasks that generate more value for your company and your employees, it will renew their drive and determination.

What Are the Benefits of SmartCreds and What Can They Do?

  1. SmartCreds protects both the CredHolder and CredRequestor by ensuring sensitive information is encrypted and kept safe. ✅
  2. SmartCreds removes the need to send sensitive documents. ✅
  3. SmartCreds redact truly sensitive information so it is impossible to share
  4. SmartCreds also eliminates security risks by removing the need to transmit and store entire documents. ✅
  5. Credentials such as vaccination records, forms of identification and birth records are examples of documents that contain sensitive info that can be manipulated or copied to use for fraud, identity theft, and more nightmares. But SmartCreds can squash this risk 🥳  ✅