Embedded finance is transforming how consumers access financial services. By integrating lending, insurance, payments and more into the platforms we use daily, embedded finance brings banking right to where customers are.
In this beginner‘s guide, I‘ll explain what embedded finance is, how it benefits both companies and consumers, and why it represents the future of financial services.
Whether you‘re a business leader considering embedded finance or just interested in how fintech innovations are reshaping commerce, read on to learn more!
What is Embedded Finance?
Embedded finance allows non-financial companies to offer financial services through their existing platforms and apps. For example, imagine you‘re shopping on an ecommerce site. When you go to check out, you‘re presented with the option to split your purchase into 4 interest-free payments over 6 weeks.
With just a few clicks, you can confirm your identity, get approved, and complete the financing for your order – all without ever leaving the retailer‘s website. This simplified access to credit is only possible because the retailer has embedded lending services directly into their checkout flow.
According to estimates from Lightyear Capital, embedded finance revenues could top $7 trillion globally by 2030. This massive opportunity has fueled adoption across industries:
Retailers are integrating installment plans and POS lending to increase purchase sizes.
Ridesharing apps now allow drivers to get paid daily rather than weekly.
Software companies embed billing and invoicing to streamline collections.
OTT platforms offer content subscriptions that bill directly through the streaming app.
Across these examples, the key advantage is that customers can get frictionless access to financial services without needing to go through an external provider.
How Embedded Finance Works
Embedded finance relies on seamless integrations powered by modern APIs and cloud infrastructure. Here are the main players that allow it to work:
The retailers, apps and subscription businesses providing the front-end customer experience. For example, Shopify merchants can embed customized financing offers.
Financial Service Providers
The underlying banks, lenders, insurers and other regulated providers supply the financial products. For instance, Affirm actually issues the loans for retailers on its platform.
Fintech platforms, payments gateways, data analytics vendors and other behind-the-scenes technology connects non-financial brands with financial providers.
For example, a furniture brand could partner with Amount, a fintech provider, to integrate customized point-of-sale payment plans. Amount‘s APIs connect the retailer with lending infrastructure and risk analysis tools to personalize offers.
This setup allows the furniture brand to focus on its core business, while tapping Amount‘s technology to embed tailored financing that helps drive sales.
Top Benefits of Embedded Finance
The flexibility of embedded finance delivers compelling advantages for businesses and consumers alike:
Benefits for Businesses
Increase average order value – Integrated financing can encourage customers to spend more per transaction.
Higher conversion rates – More customers will be willing to complete purchases when presented with easy financing options.
Direct monetization – Businesses can generate revenue by promoting financial products to their customer base.
Customer loyalty – Added convenience and personalized options create brand affinity and sticky relationships.
According to a McKinsey survey, businesses that adopt embedded finance see a 10-30% increase in key metrics like customer lifetime value and purchase frequency.
Benefits for Consumers
Convenience – No lengthy applications! Access financing seamlessly at the point-of-sale.
Speed – Approvals happen in seconds, not days like traditional financing.
Familiarity – Customers trust brands they already use and are more willing to engage financing offers.
Control – Make financing decisions on your terms when offered in the buying journey.
Surveying shows over 70% of customers prefer embedded finance options compared to standalone financial products. By aligning incentives between businesses and consumers, embedded finance expands access to critical financial services.
Top Providers Enabling Embedded Finance
Dozens of fintechs, payment gateways and data analytics firms now enable embedding financial products:
Lending & Credit
Business Banking & Payments
- Stripe Treasury
Analytics for Underwriting
- Modern Treasury
These platforms allow businesses to mix and match providers based on their industry, geography, customer profiles and specific product requirements.
The result is highly flexible embedded finance ecosystems tailored to each brand‘s needs.
Most Popular Embedded Finance Product Examples
Now that we‘ve covered the basics, let‘s look at some popular examples of live embedded finance products:
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)
- BNPL allows online and in-store purchases to be paid for in installments over time.
- Retailers like Target, Walmart and BestBuy partner with BNPL fintechs like Affirm, Afterpay and Klarna to integrate installment plans.
- According to ecommerce analytics firm Salesforce, BNPL drove $97 billion in global online spending in 2021 alone.
- Businesses like dealers, furniture brands and appliance sellers provide customized financing at checkout.
- Using integrations from fintechs like Amount and Bread, retailers can offer instant credit decisions to finance large purchases.
- POS lending provides a personalized alternative to general-purpose credit cards.
Embedded Business Banking
- Platforms like Shopify and Square allow merchants to easily open business checking accounts and access other banking services.
- Fintech banking providers like NorthOne and Novo power the underlying accounts.
- Embedded banking simplifies financial management for over 50 million small businesses.
- Services like Apple Pay, PayPal and Google Pay integrate payments, BNPL offers, rewards and coupons in one place.
- Partnerships with issuers allow wallet brands to provide their own credit and debit cards.
- Digital wallets enable omnichannel embedded finance across ecommerce, mobile apps and in-store.
The Future of Embedded Finance
Looking ahead, embedded finance has significant room for continued growth and innovation:
Wider product breadth – More complex products like embedded investing and savings accounts will expand access to wealth management.
Vertical-specific solutions – Specialized providers will tailor embedded finance to verticals like healthcare, education and home services.
Global ubiquity – Geographic expansion into emerging markets will spread embedded finance worldwide.
Platform convergence – Collaboration between fintech providers will enable combining multiple embedded finance services under one integration.
New data applications – Consumer permissioned data can power personalized financial advice and decisioning in real time.
Gartner estimates that by 2026, over 70% of people will regularly use embedded finance options for purchases and banking needs. As solutions move beyond just lending, integrated financial services will become an integral part of customer journeys across industries.
Let‘s Recap the Key Takeaways
We‘ve covered a lot of ground explaining the essentials of embedded finance. Let‘s recap the key points:
Embedded finance seamlessly integrates financial services into non-financial platforms. This simplified access provides a better customer experience.
APIs and cloud technology enable turnkey integration between fintech providers and brands. This powers embedded finance‘s flexibility.
Consumers prefer embedded finance for its convenience, speed and personalized options. It expands access to critical financial services.
For businesses, embedded finance increases sales, order values and customer loyalty. It represents a huge revenue opportunity.
Adoption is accelerating across commerce, banking, insurance and more. Embedded finance will redefine how consumers and businesses interact.
Hopefully this beginner‘s guide gave you a helpful introduction to embedded finance and its growing impact. Please let me know if you have any other questions!
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