This suits companies of all types – whether it is aa commodities firm operating in Indonesia or a pharmaceutical company operating in Thailand. “Rather than needing to collect cheques in person, an API-based process makes collections a lot quicker and paperless”, said Ahmed.
Zuellig Pharma has reaped similar benefits. In response to the pandemic, the company leveraged new digital solutions to make communications simpler and faster. “Covid-19 and its lockdowns forced us to pivot quickly to ramp up our ecommerce platform to fulfil orders to get life-saving drugs out the door,” explained Laverick.
In short, this revolutionised the firm’s processes overnight – from a manual effort with collectors knocking on doors for cash and cheques to deposit in the bank – to offering online capabilities that gave customers a new way to pay, quickly and easily.
With around $1.5 billion to $2 billion outstanding in accounts receivables at one point, the API solution helped the company to keep operating with sufficient cashflow, emphasised Laverick.
More broadly, APIs and platform-based sales can enable companies to tap into a larger customer base than previously possible, explained Ahmed. The next step is embedding ‘Banking as a Service’ to facilitate financing through an ecommerce platform.
The application of APIs will have significant implications for Zuellig Pharma, too.