Embedded Finance and the platformification of financial services are redefining consumer relationships with brands and the role of banks. Businesses intent on incorporating Embedded Finance into their products are establishing brand loyalty and trust among consumers by invoking the seamless integration of banking into their services.
Tearsheet’s 2020 Embedded Awards honor the top players leading the movement towards Embedded Finance. The Awards celebrate the industry’s top Embedded Finance platforms by recognizing their creativity, innovative drive and consumer value.
This year’s award winners feature exceptional Embedded Finance solutions and designs. The award winners were announced at the end of the Embedded Conference, held Thursday, November 19th.
The 2020 Embedded Awards winners
Best Banking as a Service Platform:
Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking Platform: Goldman Sachs decided to make a big play in the Treasury and transaction banking world. This digital-first, multi-currency, cloud-based platform has been built around APIs, making it a seriously advanced Open-Banking platform in the corporate treasury space. Goldman is opening up these APIs to partners and fintechs so they can integrate with them, using their servicing platform, and begin leveraging the tools Goldman has already built while still giving them complete control over the user experience they want to create.
Goldman’s virtual accounts provide users with flexibility, mirroring the functionality of a physical account with all the advantages of virtual accounts, like instant opening and closing of as many virtual accounts as needed, the simplification of reconciliations, and the centralization of liquidity with virtual pooling structures and releasing trapped cash.
Best New Product:
Intuit Quickbooks Cash: From managing spreadsheets, moving money from one account to another, tracking expenses and spending hours each week figuring out how they’re going to pay invoices or employees — small businesses face complex financial decisions everyday. Small businesses now juggle 6 to 8 different software solutions to solve their financial management needs.
In 2020, QuickBooks introduced QuickBooks Cash, a business bank account that helps small businesses pay their teams, do their books, and earn money with a high-yield interest account. It’s an all-in-one banking account with a debit card that is connected to the QuickBooks fintech platform, saving businesses money by eliminating the need for separate solutions, while also helping them get paid faster and have access to insights on business performance. QuickBooks Cash offers no minimum balance, and no waiting for incoming funds to clear or doing the latency math on when businesses can pay their teams or restock supplies.
Best Card Issuing Platform:
Marqeta: Marqeta’s modern card issuing platform empowers companies to bring world-class products to market. Marqeta continues to release innovative products to disrupt the card-issuing space.
Marqeta’s Tokenization-as-a-Service (TaaS) solution was released in September, an advanced product that helps card issuers easily implement tokenized card programs. JPMorgan has already tapped Marqeta to deploy its card tokenization capabilities into its commercial card programs and instantly issue payments into any mobile wallet. JPMorgan will be able to issue virtual card numbers directly through its mobile application that can be immediately tokenized for consumers to use.
Best Customer Onboarding Program:
Narmi: To ensure a solid onboarding experience for customers, Narmi built progressive and integrated back-office tools so that financial institutions are set up for success in a digital first environment. With its admin platform, financial institutions have experienced an overall reduction in time spent by more than 50% for staff, as well as a 63% improvement in support response time.
Narmi Engineering, Implementation, and Customer Success teams work together to build a tailored plan for each customer, outlining responsibilities, key launch dates, and other project details. For the $13B Berkshire Bank, Narmi and Berkshire worked together to bring 23 cross-functional stakeholders and 8 core project team members. Narmi customers have experienced a 75% year over year increase in accounts opened and a 45% year over year increases in digital deposits balances.
Best New Embedded Program:
Bond: Founded March 2019, Bond accelerates the innovation of embedded finance. Typically, brands must secure a banking partner, integrate dozens of disparate technology solutions, and navigate complex compliance requirements just to launch one financial product.
Bond’s product suite gives brands a single platform to embed multiple financial products. Bond Studio allows developers to offer debit, credit, and high yield deposits through one unified platform. Bond OS reduces time to launch by standardizing and automating documentation for brands and banks to collaborate effectively. Bond Comply allows banks and brands to gain real-time insights on the health of the products. Bond’s Person Centric Ledger standardizes processor data, allowing Brands to be vendor agnostic.
The company closed its Series A investment round in July 2020, led by Coatue with participation from strategic investors Goldman Sachs and Mastercard.
Best Overall Embedded Platform:
Plaid: Plaid offers a comprehensive suite of infrastructure products for creating, delivering and scaling digital financial services. Plaid’s products power thousands of fintech apps and services, including challenger banks, lenders, and financial management tools.
Plaid has powered innovators like Venmo, Square, Acorns, Blend and now, established companies both inside and outside of the traditional financial services industry are pursuing embedded fintech strategies as a way to build new and differentiated services and create new revenue streams. Recent embedded fintech customer examples include a partnership with Microsoft to turn Microsoft Money in Excel into a fintech app, by allowing users to connect their financial accounts and import data directly into templates for budgeting, financial planning and more.
In May 2020, Plaid launched Plaid Exchange, an open finance “API in a box,” designed to accelerate consumer-permissioned data access strategies for financial institutions of any size.
Best Payments as a Service Platform:
Galileo Financial Technologies: Galileo’s APIs have become standard for many top fintechs and financial services firms to create sophisticated payment card programs and digital banking solutions. The addition of Galileo Instant enables any business — including startups and businesses that need a fast and easy payout solution– to become a fintech through the use of embedded payments.
In addition to Chime and Robinhood, Galileo powers MoneyLion, Greenlight, Current, Aspiration, KOHO, the U.S. divisions of Monzo, Revolut, TransferWise, Paysafe, and MoneyLion. According to one independent assessment, Galileo drives >95% of fintech digital banking in the U.S. Galileo was acquired by SoFi, a client of the firm, in June 2020 for $1.2 billion.