Few sectors have been hit as hard as the hospitality and F&B industries in recent times. Shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic have uprooted traditional operations, forcing consumers to switch to food deliveries and takeaways.
Yet this change in customer behaviour has spotlighted flexible, technology-embracing companies like Kitopi, whose business has grown exponentially due to its automated solution which facilitates high-order volumes and quicker operations.
Since its founding in 2018, Kitopi, a leading managed cloud kitchen platform, has fueled growth by partnering with over 200 food and beverage brands and restaurants across four countries in the Middle East.
Kitopi operates over 75+ automated state-of-the-art kitchens. Food can be prepared in just eight minutes, with delivery to customers targeted at under 35 minutes.
To process its fund transfers and pay vendors and staff, the company uses Automated Clearing House (ACH) and Priority Payments.
With the growing number of payments, Kitopi chose HSBC to implement an automated payment initiation solution powered by APIs (Application Programming Interface) for its UAE operations.
The innovative solution will increase the company’s competitiveness, enhance its efficiency and standardise the process of executing payments. It also reduces the administrative hours spent on payments, helping Kitopi focus instead on its operations.
Moving away from a spreadsheet-based process to an automated payment proposition, which includes instant updates of payment status and automated reconciliation, will improve automation, security, and overall process efficiency.
“They can move the funds wherever they want and make payments when they come due to suppliers and others. It is a flexible and reusable solution,” says Daniel Howlett, HSBC’s Regional Head of Commercial Banking for MENAT.
‘We value the seamless banking experience that these integrations have made possible, and look forward to further collaboration on similar initiatives in the future says Sally Swanepoel, Director of Accounting and Control at Kitopi. As HSBC’s first client in the Middle East to implement API for real-time payments in the UAE, Kitopi is now looking to replicate the same solution across its MENA portfolio.
“Our client truly appreciated HSBC’s approach, in-depth expertise during the time of integration and after go-live support on how API-based real-time payments can aid the efficiencies to their daily operations,” says Howlett.
Always going an extra mile to make the whole API pilot project succeed, there was intensive coordination across HSBC’s global payments solutions departments, including Senior Management, coverage, sales, e-channels, integration and implementation.
The power of APIs
HSBC’s Treasury APIs, integrated with treasury and payment systems, help unlock new possibilities for businesses, making it easier to manage cash and make more informed decisions.
“What the API does is that it provides real-time visibility, enhancing controls over their Enterprise Resource Planning. This seamless solution helps Kitopi improve their working capital management because they get the visibility of the balances in their accounts,” says Kyle BOAG at HSBC’s Regional Head of Global Payments Solutions MENAT.
APIs help organisations to compete in the digital economy by removing barriers to integration between businesses and enabling faster scaling. They also reduce the risk of fraud and increase overall corporate governance.
By allowing customers to find, order and pay for goods and services, and track delivery in real-time, API-based solutions are a necessary and useful tool for companies looking to manage operations transparently and predictably even as payments move at ever-faster rates.
"Our priority is to ensure that the post-sale process is consistent, seamless and our clients are well-supported throughout both implementation & integration. Our teams remained close to Kitopi throughout the entire process; providing the client with a unique experience" says Muhannad Abdeljawad, Senior Vice President, Global Payments Solutions UAE.