The power of APIs for FIs: Innovating fintech faster with embedded payment partnerships

  • Creating new experiences to delight customers is about achieving four core goals: simplicity, flexibility, expertise, and scale. You need solutions that are simple to implement and bring to market, but flexible enough to adapt to evolving market needs.
  • From virtual and physical card issuance to contactless and rewards, partnering with the right embedded payments provider is a game-changer.

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The power of APIs for FIs: Innovating fintech faster with embedded payment partnerships

By Walt Granville, SVP of Bank & Network Operations & Partnerships, Netspend

There’s a lot of buzz in the market about how embedded payments can help non-financial brands innovate their retail ecosystems. But embedded finance partnerships aren’t just for non-FIs. Innovating across the fintech ecosystem requires collaboration. 

For financial institutions, like lenders and credit card issuers looking to innovate their fintech offerings faster, embedded payment partnerships deliver access to open and flexible APIs to launch products at speed and scale. Embedded finance partnerships present vast opportunities for financial institutions and non-financial institutions alike who share one common goal: integrating payments solutions through the application of agile APIs that can bring new and innovative offerings to their customers with greater ease. 

Instead of building a solution from the ground up on a legacy system, there is immense value in working with an established, market-proven partner that can help integrate an embedded finance solution into your existing financial infrastructure. Enter the power of partnerships. 

Specifically for financial institutions looking to level up their own fintech offerings, expand their product sets, and join the ranks of their rapidly growing fintech counterparts, now is the time to explore how and why integrating with an embedded financial solution provider makes sense. Below we explore how a partner with the tech stack to transform your backend will help bring new end-user focused solutions that better compete in today’s customer-centric environment.

Where and how embedded partnerships make sense for financial institutions 

As leaders of financial institutions understand, there’s also power in having established roots in the financial services industry. In the fly-by-night type of environment where startups are entering the marketplace faster than VCs can count, there’s something to be said for a company with a proven reputation, continually innovating their technology to stay ahead of what the financial services industry, and their customers, truly need.

For instance, a partner with decades of experience developing payments solutions has longstanding, real-world proof of how to bridge the gap between what traditional legacy financial institutions have relied upon, and what fintech startups are bringing to market. Proof points are found in long-term established industry relationships, and not just new, flashy technology. After all, not all providers have the same weight when it comes to technology, security, and speed — and the people that actually get those solutions into the market.

Where the right partner makes a difference is in its ability to deliver everything on the backend a financial institution needs to easily and quickly onboard an embedded payments solution that meets their current and future customers' needs. This includes tailoring solutions from plug-and-play for the more emerging FIs, to design-and-build for the more established FIs. 

Embracing embedded finance partnerships also helps FIs innovate across the fintech ecosystem in a way that provides them access to cutting-edge technology. The result is innovating faster and at scale to compete in today’s digital-first customer environment. Financial institutions that lean into a true embedded finance relationship allow them to innovate their legacy architecture with tested APIs that can position them better in the digital payments world. 

Traditionally, the product development cycle takes longer when trying to innovate upon an existing system alone. Luckily, FIs can partner with a fintech-forward partner like Netspend that already has the established relationships and technology to provide digital banking experiences faster than an FI could build themselves. By embracing these partnerships, FIs also get access to new data sources that provide better insights into who their customers are and how they are engaging with their products. Digital access offers more of these critical customer insights.

Accelerating time to market with the right payments partner

The key to building a financial institution equipped to innovate upon the latest trends in the market is having a scalable tech stack that can help you unlock growth through payments and digital banking innovation. Creating new experiences to delight customers is about achieving four core goals: simplicity, flexibility, expertise, and scale. You need solutions that are simple to implement and bring to market, but flexible enough to adapt to evolving market needs. 

Whether it be through instantly issued virtual cards, physical card options, real-time funding and card controls, contactless payments, personal financial management tools, or rewards programs, finding a partner that can bring together your payments needs under one roof is critical for achieving ROI and time-to-market goals. 

Look for features in your embedded payments technology partner that can address your technology, risk, compliance, and fraud management needs at the same time — all while understanding how money needs to move between distribution networks. It’s also important to look for an embedded finance solutions provider with open APIs and SDK building blocks so you can configure solutions that are unique to your brand — while still being able to accelerate your time to market. 

You also need a partner that has the expertise to drive measurable ROI and growth through unique data insights. And finally, you need a partner that is equipped with enterprise-grade technology with greater uptime to scale faster. Whether it's to launch rich and differentiated digital banking services, embed a payment account directly into a digital wallet or app, or launch dynamic payments accounts to improve cash management, fraud and risk control, taking a comprehensive approach to your payments programs helps check multiple boxes at once. That’s where taking a collaborative approach to embedded finance really counts.

To learn more about why embedded finance is critical, choosing the right solutions, and what Gen Zers expect from financial services, check out our latest publication, Brand value, user loyalty, and revenues through the lens of embedded finance.

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