Lykos - Building a robust payments solution
DBS implements a real-time API-driven process for Lykos to enhance their buyers’ user experience
“Our partnership with DBS has been critical to delivering a real-time, dynamic and scalable digital solution with a strong focus on the buyer experience. With Lykos, buyers of all sizes can now purchase refined metals in precise quantities at transparent and competitive prices, and indicate their timescales and delivery location. This partnership has clearly illustrated the potential of digital solutions to radically transform B2B trade, not only in India but across Asia.”
Vikrant Jindal, Head, Business Development and New Initiatives, Lykos India Private Limited
Part of Trafigura, one of the world’s leading commodity trading houses, Lykos is India’s first online refined metal platform. Lykos revolutionises the way that metals are bought and sold, both in India and beyond. Buyers of all sizes can now purchase the quantity, at the time they need it, with delivery to the most convenient warehouse. Pricing is transparent and competitive, with no need to use a dealer or intermediary. The portal is already accessed by over 1,000 corporate and institutional buyers and 3,000 registered users.
As a B2B sales portal (as opposed to most portals which have a retail customer base), Lykos has very specific collection needs, including managing both domestic and cross-border high value transactions. Buyers typically pre-fund their purchases, on the basis that they can settle transactions immediately, or receive unused funds back without delay, which creates an additional need to manage credit accounts and process payments efficiently.
Lykos had implemented a complex digital solution with its existing bank to support the portal and its distinctive payment, collection and account update requirements. However, Lykos was reliant on its bank for buyer balance information, which was only updated periodically. Furthermore, losses of connectivity between Lykos and the bank’s system led to failed transactions, a loss of sales and customer dissatisfaction.
Lykos was therefore seeking a partner bank to implement a simplified, more robust digital solution to overcome these issues and to provide the scalability to enable future growth. The solution needed to provide real-time updates of incoming flows onto buyers’ credit accounts, together with the ability to initiate refunds or debit pre-funded account balances instantly.
A Future-Ready Solution
Lykos selected DBS to implement a real-time, dynamic API-driven process to enhance buyers’ user experience and confidence of working with Lykos, whilst reducing costs and providing a scalable solution to support future growth.
The DBS solution comprised a number of components:
- Virtual accounts – DBS set up a dynamic virtual accounts structure to auto-assign a virtual account number to each buyer at the point of registration on Lykos’ portal. Buyers use this virtual account number when making payments, so Lykos can identify the buyer, with funds being physically credited to Lykos’ current account.
- Incoming payments – With DBS‘ solution, buyers transfer funds to Lykos through a variety of settlement methods, both domestic and cross-border. Using an API-driven solution powered by DBS RAPID (Real-time APIs with DBS), Lykos receives a real-time credit update direct to its own system, including the virtual account number, in order to update its buyers’ accounts instantaneously.
- Outgoing payments - When buyers make a purchase, their credit account is automatically debited and funds moved to their operational current account to settle the transaction. Similarly, buyers can request an immediate refund from their credit account. In both instances, these transactions are enabled in real time through DBS’ RAPID API solution.
Enhancing the Buyer Experience
Together, Lykos and DBS have simplified, streamlined and accelerated the flow of information and transactions, with dynamic, real-time updates. This has significantly enhanced the buyer experience, whilst eliminating failed transactions resulting from invalid buyer credit information. Buyer confidence in the portal has increased as credit account data is current and updated instantaneously in line with user activity, including processing refunds outside normal banking hours.
For Lykos, the cost and resource overheads have been significantly reduced, whilst enhancing the quality and responsiveness of its service. The technology integration burden has been very light since there is no cost, resource and risk implications that come with maintaining onerous interfaces or payment gateways.
The solution is highly scalable, supporting Lykos’ growth ambitions, including expanding into new geographies, and extending the range of product offerings and payment methods available through the portal. It also facilitates a wide range of new business cases, such as stock reservations for future delivery. Leveraging DBS' extensive experience in China, Lykos has scaled up quickly to replicate its online commodity purchasing portal for the China market.