March 2023 Embedded Finance News
This edition covers news about Grover, Mercedes, DoorDash, Railsr, Weavr and Griffin as well as insightful reads about the role of banks in Embedded Finance.
Hi Embedded Finance folks, this has been quite a month in EF. Especially the news from different infrastructure providers (see below) have shaken up the market quite a bit. Additionally, we saw different launches of Embedded Finance products especially around BNPL. But let's dive in.
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Non-Financial Brand Activity In EF
🇩🇪 What is behind Grover’s embedded finance offering: Grover announced their consumer debit card in cooperation with Solaris in 2021. For every card usage customers receive Grover Points which can be used for additional rentals. In this blog post Grover's VP of Product Stephen Beyer describes their journey and EF ambition.
🇩🇪 Mercedes-Benz Mobility announces Mercedes pay+: Customers can use the built-in fingerprint sensor for payment authentication to purchase digital services.
🇫🇷 Expense management solution Expensya launches debit cards: The French startup is partnering with Embedded Finance provider Swan and is aiming to grow significantly in the French, Spanish and German market.
🇺🇸 DoorDash launches credit card: The food delivery provider is partnering with Chase and card owners receive various benefits including cashbacks.
🇺🇸 Apple launches Apple Pay Later: The service was already announced in 2021 but is now available to customers in the US. Apple Pay Later is built on a partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard.
🇺🇸 Kayak launches BNPL: Similarly to the Apple announcement, Kayak is partnering with BNPL provider Affirm to offer customers instalment payments for travel booking.
🇯🇵 Mizuho and Line call off plans to launch mobile bank in Japan: The partnership was already announced in 2018 but both companies decided to abandon the plans due to increasing competition and scrutiny towards the security of services.
Infrastructure Provider & Bank Activity In EF
🇬🇧 Railsr agrees rescue sale to investors at a 99.8% discount to its last valuation: Railsr has been an early mover in BaaS and was well-known especially in Europe. It is hard to judge from the outside, but it appears that the company was struggling to turn the hype into actual revenue.
🇬🇧 Weavr acquires Comma to combine embedded and open banking: Embedded Finance and Open Banking are two different concepts but the combination of both can bring additional benefits. Weavr is likely aiming to offer products leveraging both concepts. It will be interesting to see how the acquisition will change Weavr's focus. Perhaps a stronger focus on corporate use-cases and the UK?
🇬🇧 Griffin is a bank: A news that the industry has been waiting for. Griffin will be the first BaaS provider in the UK with a banking license (similar to Solaris in Germany). I will watch them closely while they announce first customer and further product development.
🇬🇧 Checkout.com Launches Issuing, Expanding Into Embedded Finance: Competitors like Stripe and Adyen have - similar to Checkout.com - also started in the acquiring space and added issuing in the past years. Platforms (e.g., Etsy, Uber etc.) who are using one of these acquirers already are likely to be the first ones to extend their product offering with cards.
🇬🇧 Penny unveils embedded finance proposition: The digital SME lender is extending its product offering with Penny Connect. Iwoca has been announcing a few Embedded Lending partnership in the past month and it appears that Penny wants to enter the same market.
🇩🇪 SAP Fioneer Launches Financial Control Solution to Speed Up and De-risk Accounting and Finance Processes: SAP Fioneer was launched in 2021 and is offering a tailored SAP solution to financial institutions. Embedded Finance is a strong part of this offering and now the company announced further product developments.
🇩🇪 Embedded Finance Workflows Firm Monite Launches Payment Links to Support B2B Platforms Growth: Monite is a good example for specialised Embedded Finance players and is currently focusing on Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable solutions.
🇪🇸 Embedded Finance Fintech Swan Launches in Spain to Further European Expansion: The French startup has been quite active in Germany recently and is making similar efforts into the Spanish market. The product offering will include local Spanish IBANs which is for many use-cases an important requirement.
🇺🇸 How to switch Banking as a Service Providers: The US BaaS provider Synctera shared an interesting post about the relevant steps to switch a BaaS provider. Changing the BaaS provider is perhaps comparable to heart transplant and everybody wants to avoid it at all costs, but unfortunately in some cases it is the only option.
🇺🇸 Treasury Prime Launches Multibank Network to Diversify FinTech Banking Risk: The trend of US BaaS providers to partner with multiple banks has been ongoing since some time - especially since the US regulator has taken a closer looks at some banking partners. A multibank network does not mean that customers can easily switch existing users from one bank to another, but it does provide a bit more flexibility for all parties involved.
🇨🇦 BaaS Fintech Synctera Announces Expansion into Canada: Canada seems like a logical country to expand to for US BaaS providers, but (as far as I know) Syntera is one of a very few US BaaS providers who have taken that step.
⏳ BaaS Success Takes Time: One of the main findings in an US BaaS report is that banks improve revenue with BaaS but it is not an easy win. The banks will need time and investment to make it work.
🏦 Traditional Financial Institutions Are Vital to Embedded Banking Revolution: Recently we have seen different traditional banks in Europe announcing or launching a BaaS or Embedded Banking offering (e.g., NatWest and SEB). Their brand name can boost such offerings and it will be interesting to follow if they have the long breath to make it work.
🏥 Healthcare Providers Turn to Embedded Finance to Help Underserved Patients: Most of the Embedded Finance activities are directed towards business use-cases, but there are some interesting ones focused on consumers. Healthcare is an interesting area especially in countries where public solutions are not able to address important needs.
🔁 Loyalty matters… enter embedded banking: There can be different motivations to offer an Embedded Finance product but loyalty programs tend to be the common theme for consumer use cases. This post describes the opportunity and typical details of such offerings.
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