When BaaS meets retail: Vodeno research reveals the rise of embedded finance

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embedded finance

Retailers today find themselves at a crossroads; they can either maintain the status quo, or they can reimagine their offering in an increasingly online world. 

Digitally native customers have little patience for fragmented shopping experiences or unintuitive checkout journeys when making online purchases. They want to see the right products, in the right place, and at the right time. A seamless journey from start to finish is the northstar for retail.  

Today, customers expect to see split-payment options at checkout. More generally, they want to see a ‘perfect’ journey, where they do not need to leave the brand’s website, and everything is seamless without the need to add personal details or register data. 

Forward-looking businesses are already tapping into the growing embedded finance opportunity to achieve this ‘perfect’ customer journey. Yet, many remain uncertain about how it could work for their business and their customers. 

The Apples and Ubers of the world have already demonstrated proof of concept,  by delivering financial products directly to their customers and users. Apple launched a credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs, bolstering its existing Apple Pay solutions with a dedicated product of its own. Uber, meanwhile, provides a digital bank account to its drivers and delivery partners – its competitor, Lyft has similarly started offering drivers a debit card with a strong rewards program and instant payments.

Powered by embedded banking, these non-banking brands are able to nurture existing relationships without diverting customers to third-parties.

Why should any brand look to invest in embedded finance? 

But, why should any brand – regardless of size – look to invest in embedded finance? 

In order to understand retailer knowledge and sentiment in regards to embedded finance, and pinpoint the customer experience challenges and opportunities retailers are trying to solve, we polled over 750 senior decision-makers within retail and eCommerce companies across the UK, Germany and Belgium. Here’s a snapshot of some of our key discoveries… 

Embedded Banking, Customer Experience and the Future of Retail, read more on how open banking can impact retail.

The rise of embedded finance has not gone unnoticed 

Embedded finance is not new, but it has only recently entered the public discourse. Through the proliferation of APIs and progressive Open Banking policies, non-regulated companies outside banking and finance have come to realise that they too can deliver the same products and services like any high street bank, from loans to current accounts, by partnering with a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) provider.  

News has spread fast: of the 753 businesses we polled, a vast majority (74%) already offer embedded finance to their customers. In the UK, the figure is even higher (82%). In total, 56% of European retailers plan to roll out new embedded finance solutions in the coming 12 months. 

Perhaps most striking was the finding that a mere 5% of the sample have not yet introduced embedded financial products and have no intention of doing so in the coming 12 months. It is clear that the majority of retailers have taken notice of BaaS.

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