A full-stack API banking platform to launch your products 10X faster.
How can your business generate additional streams of revenue just by integrating financial services to existing products? Let’s find out!
Remember the time when the latest smartphone launched with jaw-dropping specifications & features and got everyone talking?
11 out of 10 of us would have made a willful decision to open up our pockets and get it, sooner or later.
Even if the numbers on the price tag gave us a mini-heartache.
Popular e-commerce sites, like Amazon, offer EMI loan options on thousands of products to make the purchases easy on the customer and give them the power over it.
Likewise, there is a myriad of products & services that have incorporated this approach. As a result, customers can use financial services or banking products without moving out of the platform.
Which brings us to our topic today.
Embedded banking & finance is not merely a term that’s flying around in recent times.
Embedded banking is the process of adding banking solutions into a third-party platform, using APIs.
These applications do so to serve customers better, and also to add a new revenue stream. Inherently, such platforms needn’t have a financial background, per se.
Embedded Finance: Working
Embedded finance may sound like embedded fintech. While the former focuses on blending a tightly integrated lending solution into an existing product, embedded fintech deals with helping banking institutions step up their services & offerings with the latest financial technology.
“By 2030, embedded finance companies, even those who pivot into this trend, will reach a market capitalization of $7.2 trillion globally.”
Embedded banking offers the ultimate convenience to the end customer, be it an individual or a business, to avail a desired financial service within their favorite app or platform.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples on embedded finance to understand its scope better.
In December 2020, Zomato announced partnering with Incred, an NBFC, to offer lending services to its restaurant partners and delivery executives. This was to manage their financials uninterrupted better.
This initiative will remove the burden of many business owners’ shoulders who could be struggling during this crisis. Indeed thoughtful, no doubts there! Incred will enable Zomato, which is not inherently a company with a financial backdrop, to offer risk-free credit options.
From Zomato’s perspective, these are brilliant ways to lock in the customers as well as restaurant partners even further into a loop of increased loyalty & benefits.
At the same time, Zomato is able to generate extra revenue for itself on both channels. As a quick exercise, can you think of their revenue share/model in each of these? If yes, let us know in the comments below, and you may get a surprise gift in your inbox!
Source: Lightyear Capital
Similarly, health tech startup Saveo is a B2B e-commerce platform for pharmacies. The platform acts as a single point to get medical supplies & services- surgical, over-the-counter medicines, specialty, allopathy, & ayurvedic.
Saveo embraces embedded finance to offer credit to its retailers that, in turn, help pharmacies collect working capital. As a result, pharmacies can improve their business flows rather than waiting for regular settlements.
Likewise, the Gig Economy platform Workflexi is another example. They help hirers & workers (consultants, contractors, freelancers) to connect and get a ‘gig’ done. The payment for these gigs happens right within the platform.
And, the best part is where Workflexi has eliminated the payment settlement delays brought by a payment gateway. In short, instead of 5-6 days of waiting around, the workers get their money instantly. Ubercool, isn’t it? Thanks to embedded banking!
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that embedded banking has the power to catalyze economic growth & prosperity at its true potential.
In 2008, only 1 in 4 persons had a bank account. Needless to say, financial inclusion was a struggle back then. Now, we have taken a colossal leap where 80% of Indians are proud owners of at least one bank account.
It doesn’t stop there. When a company sets out to incorporate financial services into its product, it’s not an easy task. Definitely not a quick one, either! These financial integrations often take months due to compliance issues & regulations. The legacy infrastructure of existing financial institutions and the broken documentation don’t make it any easier.
Embedded finance & banking is an important catalyst for these transformations to progress.
As the saying goes,
“Any company will eventually be a fintech company!”
It comes as no surprise that embedded banking finds a spot across diverse domains. Let’s see what they are!
SMEs & Startups
Businesses can launch co-branded cards & wallets for their partners, vendors, & customers as an additional revenue stream. They can earn money on the interchange of each & every transaction. By offering lending services, SMEs & startups can get a small percentage from interests when a lender disburses. Besides, while maintaining bank accounts, businesses can levy a maintenance fee from customers.
Marketplaces & Aggregators
Marketplaces and aggregators that deal with thousands of businesses on a day-to-day basis can enjoy embedded banking earnestly. These platforms can enable instant payment settlements for their merchants, thereby, improving customer experience and making recurring revenue from it.
Moreover, marketplaces can save a ton of money, using embedded banking API solutions, that are otherwise spent as transaction fees to payment gateways. Furthermore, they can offer loan/credit facilities by connecting to the right lender & borrower and open up a new revenue stream.
Both B2B(such as Saveo) & B2C platforms(such as Amazon) can integrate with embedded banking API solutions to offer credit for their customers, retailers, & partners. During collections, they can earn a nominal percentage as income. For each new account that’s opened, e-commerce platforms can derive revenue from the float of the deposit account.
Trade & Logistics
Earn an interchange commission whenever your agents, drivers, or transporters spend using the card you issue. Also, offer lending services through these cards and generate revenue streams via interest. Furthermore, you can provide insurance for your drivers, & insure the goods & trip. This not only offers security but gets you an income from its premium.
Provide cards & wallets which doctors, nurses, and other medical staff can avail. While they go cash-free, you can develop a revenue stream from interchange fees. In addition, extend a helping hand to patients for surgeries & treatment with loans; allow them to pay it down the lane.
The India InsurTech Report 2020 by MEDICI shows us the massive opportunity the Indian market presents, and consequently the scope of embedded insurance.
While leading investment firms such as LIC have been thriving since the time of inception, the blending of embedded financial services will help to expand the reach to the underserved population in the country.
Let’s take the instance of KUWY, a digital platform for instant automotive loans & the resale of second-hand cars. The platform facilitates the sale while also offering lending services by connecting the right buyer with a lender. Consequently, earn recurring revenue from the interest. In addition, embedded finance can enable similar platforms to offer vehicle insurance as a part of their offerings, and a percentage of the premium could be a good source of revenue for the business.
Embedded banking brings many benefits to a multitude of domains. What are they?
According to Andreessen Horowitz, a renowned Silicon Valley VC,
Companies can earn up to 5X higher revenue from embedded banking models, as compared to their usual subscription revenue models.
Let’s delve into it.
Opening an Additional Revenue Stream
Monetize the spend of your customers, partners, or vendors with embedded banking. Adding a layer of fintech allows companies to incur additional income. For instance, offering credit cards can help companies earn a nominal annual fee from each customer.
Lending services, as Buy Now Pay Later, can help them earn revenue in the form of interest payments. For payments happening within the platform, the company could charge a very nominal transaction fee.
Enter New Verticals & Markets
An extension of what we saw above. While incorporating financial services, companies can venture into new markets and test waters. With their existing customer base, it becomes easy and the scope of risk is comparatively reduced.
Source: Andreessen Horowitz
Consequently, acquiring new customers becomes easy and more streamlined.
Improving Convenience Manifold
The quotient of convenience which you can offer your customers with embedded banking is truly commendable. For instance, Google Maps allows users to pay the parking fees as they find a slot, getting BNPL options during online shipping, or EMI on your next flight for a holiday. Embedded finance enables customers to avail the desired financial service without having to leave your platform at all!
Embedded Finance Vs Banking as a Service (BaaS)
We saw the definition of Embedded finance & banking but is it the same as BaaS?
Banking as a Service enables third-party platforms to access the existing banking services using APIs. These APIs will enable fintech companies to access and use them for building innovative products and serve customers.
To amp up their services, offerings, and customer experience, banks are partnering up with fintech companies to infuse the latest technology into traditional banking. On the other hand, companies can use this opportunity to avoid the long waiting cycles and compliances & regulations check by partnering with banks who already have license operations.
We’ve come a long way to provide the essential financial necessities to the underserved Indian population. Revolutions such as open banking, banking as a service(BaaS), UPI, have played instrumental roles for it.
There’s still a long way to go, yes. But we’re off to a great start already.