Embedded Finance Meaning
Embedded finance is the integration of financial services including lending, payment processing, and insurance within non-financial organisations’ infrastructures without the need to divert customers to traditional financial institutions.
Embedded finance has the potential to have an impact on almost every industry by enabling businesses to lend money, collect payments, or provide insurance without the help of traditional financial institutions. As customers continue to want services that are quicker and simpler to use, businesses also want payments to come in quickly.
Industry giants emphasize the significance embedded finance technologies will have over others in their market. Noting that those without this technology are spending capital on manual workforces to provide information, which might result in delayed data, thus putting them at a disadvantage.
What Is Embedded Finance?
Embedded finance is the integration of financial services such as lending, payment processing, and insurance into the infrastructures of non-financial enterprises without the need to refer customers to conventional financial institutions.
For example, instead of going to a bank for a loan, customers can use digital companies to obtain financing when purchasing a product online.
Embedded finance can be understood as the integration of financial services into non-financial or unconventional financial products. This process involves infusing traditional banking and financial functions into various sectors, often unrelated to finance itself. For example, a company specializing in a mobile food truck ordering application might incorporate payment features directly into the app, thereby utilizing embedded finance to enhance the user experience.
Embedded finance is a technological advancement that accelerates the processing of financial decisions for companies. It enables businesses to better understand their customers’ spending habits and receive payments more rapidly than through traditional invoicing methods. Without embedded finance, many tasks are done manually, which can slow down processes. For example, purchasing something might require creating a purchase order, getting it reviewed, inputting information into a spreadsheet, and analyzing the implications for the company before making a decision. This manual process can be time-consuming and less efficient.
On the other hand, for consumers engaging with businesses that use embedded finance systems, financial transactions become quicker and more convenient, as there’s no need to go through a traditional bank. Many businesses see the value in embedded finance as it aligns with customer needs and offers significant advantages. It can be a disruptive force in the market, allowing for the quicker integration of financial tools and services into products, thereby facilitating easier and faster payments. Overall, embedded finance represents a shift towards more efficient and customer-centric financial operations for both businesses and consumers.
Embedded Finance — How It Works?
Embedded finance services have revolutionized the way businesses can manage and market various financial products. These services allow any business to integrate forms of banking products like payment, debit, credit, insurance, or investment into their customer experiences. For example, paying for a ride with a ride-sharing service is now a seamless experience. The payment is automatically handled within the app, and the driver receives the appropriate amount at the end of the ride.
The rise of payment facilitation companies in the past decade has made these opportunities widely available to digital businesses, leading them to significant market values. As the industry evolves, there’s increasing complexity in moving from basic payments to more intricate services like debit, credit, insurance, and investment. Yet, the goal remains to make offerings as attractive as possible to customers. Traditional methods required interaction with banks for various financial products, often leading to disputes between customers, banks, and sellers. Now, more tailored options are emerging, allowing brands to offer customized financial solutions such as installment payments at the time of purchase.
In the field of education, some online training platforms are providing innovative payment options like income-sharing agreements. Rather than requiring an upfront fee, students are charged a percentage of their future income. This can be an appealing alternative to traditional bank loans.
The integration in the financial services industry is rapidly growing in other areas as well. Car-sharing services can be bundled with automatic insurance, or products can be protected against theft and damage as part of the total cost. Though some large companies have begun to offer these services, embedded finance solutions for brands and sellers have generally not been quick or cost-effective, and customization in real-time has been limited.
The future of the financial industry seems to be one where it fades into the background of the solutions offered to clients. Instead of merely selling insurance, for example, businesses can offer more attractive packages, like remote maintenance services.
Embedded finance is especially appealing to digital brands and merchants, as it creates new revenue opportunities at low marginal costs. Leveraging an existing customer base, it helps foster loyalty, repeat transactions, and a deeper understanding of customer relationships. This could allow businesses, especially software and platform companies, to significantly increase their revenue per customer. It’s not uncommon to see some businesses in the e-commerce space generating substantial revenue from the financial services they offer to their sellers, all thanks to the rich data they already possess about their users. The potential is clear: financial services are becoming an increasingly profitable addition to many companies’ core businesses.
Benefits Of Embedded Finance
Embedded finance offers numerous advantages for consumers and businesses, particularly focusing on the opportunities for businesses. It opens up additional revenue streams by integrating financial services directly into a product or service. This integration allows businesses to earn revenue from transactions conducted through the integrated financial system, increasing income opportunities.
The competitiveness of a product is also enhanced by improving the user experience through user-friendly interfaces, making the product more appealing. This not only attracts new customers but fosters their ongoing engagement with the service. Ease of use can lead to an increase in conversions, boosting sales and customer satisfaction. Moreover, embedded finance provides businesses with more customer data, like contact and transaction information, enabling more personalized service and enhancing the overall customer experience.
Embedded Finance Examples and Use cases
Embedded payments are a well-known type of offering, where various large online retailers and technology platforms enable customers to order and pay within a single application. Other examples include digital wallet applications where users store information for seamless transactions. This feature aids both small and large businesses by streamlining payment methods, increasing trust, and simplifying the checkout process.
Embedded “buy now, pay later” installment plans revolutionize the traditional layaway method by allowing consumers to receive a product immediately and pay for it over time. Companies can present this option during mobile checkout, offering interest-free installment plans.
Embedded lending is another layer, where businesses offer loans through their platforms, eliminating the need to visit traditional financial institutions. This convenience continues to grow as consumers seek faster and easier access to products and experiences.
Embedded investing, too, has become more accessible with applications that integrate stock market activities. Users can buy, sell, and trade stocks without leaving the app or consulting an investment adviser.
Lastly, embedded insurance simplifies the process of obtaining coverage for various needs, such as travel or vehicle insurance. Some companies have even integrated the insurance application process into the checkout experience, making it an easy and seamless part of purchasing.
What Is the Future of Embedded Finance?
Fifteen years ago, nearly all financial services for small businesses were managed by local financial institutions. Now, the emergence of integrated financial solutions has streamlined much of the complex bureaucracy, and business owners are increasingly incorporating payment and financial services into their software platforms as seamlessly as possible. The demand for more accessible financial tools is only going to grow.
There is a noticeable increase in adoption of these technologies, not merely because they are convenient or impressive, but because of a real need. The industry is not producing financial professionals and accountants as quickly as the growing business sector requires their support. Consequently, firms are adopting these tools to enhance the efficiency and productivity of their workforce. This allows them to serve more clients, increasing their overall impact.
Utilizing these integrated financial solutions offers speed, efficiency, and cost savings. It would be rather unusual for a newly established company not to adopt such modern financial tools, as it seems to be an inevitable trend. In the future, these solutions will enable companies to gain more customers and increase revenue while reducing costs. This trend reflects a broader shift towards greater efficiency and innovation in the field, highlighting the significant role that technology plays in the evolution of modern business practices.