Deel launches a card with Airwallex, but invests in a competitor?

Hi embedded finance friend

The summer has arrived in Europe! No, I did not mean the weather but the reduced number of embedded finance news announcements. Thus, today’s mailing is a bit shorter, but still highly relevant :)

At this point, I am unsure if I will continue with the news curation mailing throughout the summer. I will definitely publish podcast episodes every two weeks during the summer months, but I might not be able to get enough content for the news curation mailings. Thus, I will either pause them or instead send out my updated embedded finance blog post series (previously published in 2023). What would you prefer?

PS: As mentioned in last week’s mailing, I participated in TechQuartier’s embedded finance day last Tuesday in Frankfurt and enjoyed the many insightful discussions (LinkedIn post). Quite a few participants and subscribers asked me to share my slides that I used for the short keynote. I will be making minor adjustments to the slides later this week, and I will share them in the podcast mailing next week (and send them also directly to those who asked me for it so they don’t miss it). Stay tuned!

Top Story 📰

Deel launches a card with Airwallex, but invests in a competitor?

All good things come in three they say. Does it apply to Deel’s partnership with banking-as-a-service providers as well?

Deel provides a “global people’s platform” with various HR software solutions. The main product is an international employment solution, where companies can hire and employ staff around the globe without the need to found local subsidiaries. This is covered by Deel who becomes the employer of record. Additionally, companies can use the Deel platform also for their collaborations with freelancers and contractors. The startup was founded in 2019 and was frequently covered as one of the fastest growing companies.

With the new Deel Card, contractors can now instantly access earnings and shop worldwide with a physical and a virtual Deel Card (Deel Card announcement). The card allows users to hold funds in USD, bypassing traditional bank delays, and ensuring secure transactions across borders. Over 6,400 contractors have already used the Deel Card, making it their preferred choice for managing finances on the go.

The Deel Card was launched in collaboration with Airwallex, a provider that started with direct-to-business payment accounts and FX services. But in the following years, the company has started their banking-as-a-service and embedded finance offering.

What’s interesting about this announcement is that Deel announced just a few weeks ago that it invested in embedded finance provider Alviere (Deel investment in Alviere). In the investment announcement, it also stated that it already integrated Alviere for a payroll, account and card product offering and plans to grow this partnership. The product offering of the infrastructure providers Alviere and Airwallex is very broad and they definitely do not offer the same products in all markets. Airwallex is likely a suitable partner for the Deel Card as it has licences around the world (Airwallex website) and Alviere has shut down its European expansion efforts last year.

At my last employer, I also used Deel in late 2020 and early 2021, and I remember before switching to another provider that it started to test a card for contractors in collaboration with Nium. Deel still seems to be using Nium for payment related services but the card likely never made it out of a test phase, since I cannot find any content on the web.

It is no surprise that a company like Deel collaborates with so many infrastructure providers. While not being a pure fintech, payment, payroll, accounts and card products are very close to their main offering. Additionally, by definition, contractors and employees are spread around the globe, making it very hard to find one infrastructure provider to cover all needs. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to follow how Deel’s partnership with Airwallex and Alviere continues and I wonder what the main motivation for the investment in Alviere was.  

Non-Financial Brands 🏢


  • Is Amazon partnering with Santander for a new co-branded credit card in Germany?: I covered already Santander’s BNPL partnership with Apple, and it seems that the German subsidiary of the Spanish bank is also in a good position to sign a similar deal with Amazon. And the rumours say, that both companies are also working on a re-launch of the popular Amazon Credit Card which was discontinued because the previous bank partner pulled the plug on the high volume but low margin project. (FinanceFWD; German)
  • Shopify discontinues Amazon Pay in Europe: Amazon Pay will no longer be available as a payment option on Shopify in Europe from August 6th onwards. (The Paypers)​.

North America

  • Adobe Commerce  partners with Klarna: The integration provides instalment payments for online businesses and targets enhancing shopping flexibility and boosting sales conversion rates within the Adobe Commerce ecosystem. (Finextra)
  • HR software provider Lattice launches payroll: The core product allows companies to manage performance reviews and strategic compensation cycles. With the new partnership with Gusto, Lattice offers payroll processing for mid-sized and growing companies as the first financial product. Will more products follow? ​(PR Newswire)
  • Quickbooks partners with Airwallex: Airwallex customers are now able to sync transactions with QuickBooks across multiple currencies, automating reconciliation and reducing manual data entry. (The Paypers)

Infrastructure Provider 🏗️


  • Worldline extends banking-as-a-service partnership with BKN301: The partnership aims to enhance its banking-as-a-service offerings, catering to the evolving needs of financial institutions. This collaboration reinforces Worldline's commitment to providing robust banking solutions through innovative technology and strategic partnerships.
  • New Swiss embedded finance provider Partes partners with mas advisory: Industry veteran André Renfer founded Partes with his team earlier this year and aims to enable Swiss business to launch financial products. The new partnership should likely open new doors for both companies. (Partes; German)

North America

  • Rainforest secures $20 million to become the next Stripe: Rainforest offers embedded payments functionality for SaaS providers with the goal to streamline transactions and improve user experience for software providers. The funding will support their efforts to expand their embedded payment solutions, potentially challenging Stripe's dominance in the market. (TechCrunch)

Rest of the world

  • Egyptian banking-as-a-service provider secures $8 million for expansion: Connect Money launched earlier this year and with the new funding plans to grow in their home market Egypt and expand to Morocco and Kenya. Their CEO explains use-cases in farming and it’s good to see embedded finance player are growing outside of the usual African markets. (TechCrunch)

Banks & FIs 🏦

  • Thread Bank is the second bank that gets called out for its banking-as-a-service unit: Many US banks have received consent orders in the past months, but the language was vague and mentioned “third parties”. After Lineage Bank in February, Thread Bank is now the second bank that gets told to improve its BaaS operations. (American Banker)

Insightful links 🤓

  • How embedded finance is enabling retail growth: NatWest Boxed published it’s embedded finance retail report earlier this year, and shares now three things retailers should keep in mind when building financial service products. (Retail Week)
  • US judge rejects interchange settlement deal: The two decades long negotiation between Visa and Mastercard and merchants will continue. The settlement deal was agreed in March 2024 but only with some merchants and the judge decided it is not in favour for many other merchants and their customers. (Finextra)
  • Finastra discusses the current state of BNPL and embedded lending ecosystem: Finastra's perspective emphasises the growing integration of Buy Now, Pay Later solutions and embedded lending into financial services. (Crowdfund Insider)
  • Synapse's meltdown exposes financial discrepancies in banking-as-a-service: Observers highlight unprecedented challenges in reconciling customer funds owed by Synapse's fintech clients, far exceeding banks' capacity. This crisis amplifies regulatory concerns and emphasises the need for clearer communication and enhanced operational resilience within the fintech-bank partnership ecosystem. (American Banker)

Close Cookie Popup
Cookie Preferences
By clicking “Accept All”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage and assist in our marketing efforts as outlined in our privacy policy.
Strictly Necessary (Always Active)
Cookies required to enable basic website functionality.
Cookies helping us understand how this website performs, how visitors interact with the site, and whether there may be technical issues.
Cookies used to deliver advertising that is more relevant to you and your interests.
Cookies allowing the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language, or the region you are in).