Weekly 10-Q: Stepping into the ‘Banking-as-a-Service’ realm: 3 questions with Simon Khalaf, CPO at Marqeta

  • Marqeta's Chief Product Officer tells us what went behind the company’s move to step into the BaaS realm beyond its card issuing business.
  • And, the Federal Reserve has rolled out the price schedule that banks will pay for its new instant payment system, FedNow, in 2023.

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Weekly 10-Q: Stepping into the ‘Banking-as-a-Service’ realm: 3 questions with Simon Khalaf, CPO at Marqeta

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Last week we covered: Could lowering the FY guidance hurt Affirm? And, has Marqeta underperformed this year?

Stepping aboard the ‘Banking-as-a-Service’ train: 3 questions with Simon Khalaf, CPO at Marqeta

Card issuing and management platform Marqeta is the latest entrant aboard the BaaS train, having launched Marqeta for Banking.

The suite of products includes new Demand Deposit Accounts (DDA), Direct Deposit with Early Pay, ACH with Plaid Integration, Cash Loads and fee-free ATM access, Bill Pay, and Instant Funding capabilities. 

I spoke with Simon Khalaf, Chief Product Officer at Marqeta, to dig into what went behind the company’s expansion, how Marqeta’s new offering differs from its peers, and the company's playbook for extending the new offering to its customers – old and new.

Here’s what he had to say.

What was the drive for Marqeta to step into the BaaS realm with Marqeta for Banking?

Simon Khalaf:
 Marqeta’s products power innovation, and that framing led us to launch Marqeta for Banking. Our earliest customers were developer-led companies that expected open API technologies, like Instacart, Google, Uber, and Doordash. As they began integrating payments solutions, the range of customers who needed to build financial services into their products quickly expanded. Marqeta’s card-issuing platform met that demand -- now, we see a shift in consumer behavior toward accessing banking services through trusted brands vs. traditional branch locations. In this evolving environment, the possibilities for companies and brands to engage their customers while opening up new revenue streams are impressive, and Marqeta for Banking empowers our customers to do just that.

How is Marqeta for Banking different from the wide range of BaaS technology providers out there?

Simon Khalaf:
 Banking-as-a-Service is not a new idea in today’s market - there’s an existing, demonstrated demand for these products. I view scale and customization as the frontiers right now. Our focus is on empowering our customers to efficiently bring banking products to market, customized for their unique user experiences, and delivered at scale. With the foundation of our modern APIs, we’re well-positioned amongst competing products to provide the customization, flexibility, and modularity that our customers value. We provide these capabilities in a single platform and at a scale that really differentiates Marqeta for Banking.

What strategies will be implemented to create customer loyalty for Marqeta for Banking, as in the case of a bank?

Simon Khalaf:
 We built Marqeta for Banking from the ground up as part of a single, integrated platform. For our customers, this means customization options beyond the more commonly provided program-level controls of a 'bank in a box' solution. Marqeta’s platform empowers our customers with control at the user and transaction levels so that they can create hyper-customized experiences. From the perspective of our team, one of the key advantages of this approach is that we can co-create with our customers as their trusted partners. This means designing customized experiences for their end users and working with them to bring their roadmap to life, which in a way will build consumer engagement and loyalty.

Top stories of the week

American Express and Square team up on credit cards for US SMBs
American Express and Square have partnered to create a forthcoming credit card designed for Square sellers. The card will be the first-ever Square credit card offered to its small business owner community in the US, and it will integrate directly with the company’s extensive ecosystem of solutions, enabling sellers to organize their finances and manage their cash flow from the same platform they use for running their business. More details and benefits about the card will be announced by Square in 2023. (Seeking Alpha)

American Express and TikTok are working together to help small businesses grow
American Express has partnered with TikTok to launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator, a new program to help small business owners reach a new generation of shoppers on Small Business Saturday, which is on November 26, 2022, and runs throughout the holiday shopping season. The Accelerator is a video toolkit that provides best practices and resources for SMBs to reach Gen Z and Millennial shoppers on TikTok. (Yahoo)

Fed announces FedNow 2023 pricing schedule

The Federal Reserve has unveiled the price scheme that banks will pay for its new instant payment system, FedNow, which is scheduled to roll out next summer. For the year 2023, the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks will waive the monthly participation fee for banks. In 2024, banks will pay $25 per month per routing transit number to use the FedNow service. Likewise, the reserve banks will drop the cost of up to 2,500 FedNow credit transfers per month next year and charge 4.5 cents per item afterward. (PYMNTS)

Wells Fargo is rolling out Flex Loan, a small-dollar loan option

Wells Fargo has launched a new digital-only credit offering to help customers meet short-term cash needs and prevent potential overdrafts. Named Flex Loan, the new product is a small-dollar loan that offers convenient and affordable access to funds, for a fee of $12 or $20. Eligible customers can receive credit in sums of either $250 or $500. Flex Loan does not require any application and can be accessed via the bank’s mobile app. The loan is exempted from late charges or interest fees, deposited into the customer’s account after it is accepted, and a repayment schedule of up to four months is set by the customer. (American Banker)

Wise and Deel accelerate payment speed with a new service

Wise has launched a new service with the global HR and payroll company, Deel. Deel enables hiring and payments services for companies hiring international employees and contractors. The new feature lets customers send funds via Deel using only an email address, opening up 10 new currencies in Deel’s payments infrastructure and further simplifying global payroll for over 10,000 Deel customers - from SMBs to publicly traded companies. It will help customers who have had to fund payroll by sending a USD or EUR international SWIFT transfer from their bank, which can be expensive, slow, and inefficient. (Crowdfund Insider)

Tweet of the week

Source: Michael A. Gayed, CFA

Chart of the week

Cash App vs. Robinhood ARPU over time

Source: COATUE

What's trending

  • How Chase plans to revolutionize rent payments with a digital solution (The Financial Brand)
  • Coinbase partners with TrueLayer to offer open banking-powered payments in the UK (Fintech Finance)
  • Digging into KeyBank’s conversational AI strategy (The Financial Brand)
  • US Treasury calls for closer supervision of fintech-bank relationships (Finextra)
  • Jack Henry teams with IDScan.net to have smoother mobile onboarding (Crowdfund Insider)

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