K-eye is a wholesale e-tailer based in the Netherlands that sells herbs across a number of European markets through several websites. We spoke to founder Huub Goosens about how his business is using Yolt’s open banking API to automate processes and free up internal resources.
Welcome Huub! Tell us about K-eye and what makes you different to other players in the wholesale space.
Hi! We are an online wholesaler for herbs and supplements, established in 2013. Besides things like ensuring a high-quality product, what makes us different is that we put a strong focus on automating as many of our repetitive processes as possible. My background is in IT, so I am more familiar with the potential of automation to save time than many others in the wholesale industry. My approach is that everything I can automate, even if it is five- or ten-minute tasks that need to be done regularly, I automate, because this translates into a great deal of saved money, and gives us a competitive edge.
What can you tell us about how you are using open banking?
Currently we have customers all over Europe, using a variety of different payment methods, including SEPA direct debit, credit cards, bank transfers, and so on.
Once a payment is received, it needs to be checked manually, and matched with an order before shipping out our products. This is a time-consuming process, and it runs a risk of human error since it is done manually.
But with SEPA payments and other bank transfers, we now use Account Information Services to automatically process the incoming payments. With AIS, we monitor incoming transactions in real time. As soon as a payment is made, it is automatically matched against an open order, and sends us a notification. As well as being much faster, this removes the chance of human error.
What kind of results are you seeing with this innovation?
This saves us an hour a day, which may not sound like much to bigger organisations. But we have only five staff total, and high margins due to our constant focus on automation. So an hour a day translates to a lot of money saved - tens of thousands of euros per year, in fact.
The other interesting thing is that currently under 20 percent of our customers pay with SEPA direct debit. This is partly because not many people realise that you can now make instant payments across borders within Europe - they still assume it will take a couple of days. As adoption increases - and also as open banking payments become popular - the amount of time and money we'll save on processing payments will increase. And this will further increase the amount of time saved internally to process orders.
An hour a day translates to a lot of money saved - tens of thousands of euros per year, in fact.
How was it to work with Yolt’s API?
The API was good to work with. I integrated it myself over the course of a couple of weeks, in between all the other things I was doing. It was straightforward, and is stable to work with, easy to set up, properly documented, and has all the connections we need. The other good thing was that if I had a question about something it was responded to quickly.
What does the future hold for open banking and automation at K-eye?
The next step that I am excited about is adopting open banking payments. There are a few reasons for this. For example, we can improve the customer experience by sending them a payment link rather than giving them instructions to go into their bank app to make the transfer, which is what we do with SEPA. This should have the added benefit of more customers switching to open banking payments, which means we can automate a greater volume of our payments.
And second, we can also consolidate our payments providers, if all goes well. This is because open banking payments are a European standard that could become widely adopted, and from a business perspective that would reduce the number of payment methods we need to offer and simplify our requirements around payments providers. And of course, if most or even all of our customers use open banking payments in the future, the cost of our transactions will go down dramatically, which we can either keep to increase our margins, or pass onto customers in the form of lower prices.
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