Unlocking ecosystem potential: The value of developing embedded finance
The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented disruptions to supply chains globally. Supply chain resilience, digitalization, and diversification emerged as crucial strategies to mitigate future risks and ensure adaptability in volatile market conditions. As per FSB research1, about 77% of UK SMEs are part of the supply chains of large corporations throughout various sectors, including FMCG, telco, retail, OEM, and marketplaces and platforms2. Businesses need to consider developing embedded finance solutions to improve their business ecosystems.
One of the fundamental challenges facing SMEs is the lack of a comprehensive and integrated suite of financial services. Approximately 40% of SMEs lack comprehensive access to financial services and roughly 33% rely on more than four financial providers3.
Despite multiple BaaS and verticalized embedded finance solutions, B2B2B financing (meaning large corporations to SMEs) is still a fragmented and underserved market. There are three key challenges:
- The dichotomy between business and financial service journeys
Currently, embedded finance solutions offer slick digital journeys which are independent of the relationship between corporations and their partner SMEs, exacerbating the current problem of too many providers. Fundamentally, there is nowhere that large companies can abstract complexity using a single horizontal platform.
- Multiple banking relationships
As per EY4, over a third of SMEs have more than four financial providers. This is exaggerated by the need for solutions that meet the profile of their risk appetite, credit history, financial needs, and affordability.
- Data blindness
Large companies have no visibility on the transaction history or money flow for their supply chain which leads to guesswork when it comes to effective supply chain management, comprised of visibility and transparency, efficiency and optimization, and resilience and risk management.
A recent article by PwC5 suggests that nearly two-thirds of global economic activity will be embedded by 2030. We believe that a horizontal platform that embeds financial services into a business ecosystem will help with:
- Proposition development.
- Operation support, including supply chain management.
- Partnerships and co-creation.
- Vendor lock-in.
At Toqio, we recommend a three-pronged approach to modernizing business ecosystems through technology:
- Leverage a horizontal platform which enables bringing best-of-breed financial solutions into your business ecosystem.
- Use a developer-focussed platform built on low-code/no-code principles which empowers developers to launch and deploy new products rapidly without extensive training, integrations, or personnel.
- Combine financial and non-financial data to build best in class solutions that address your vendor and customer needs, practically in real time.
Elements of an efficient embedded finance platform
Our vision is to build powerful and user-friendly tools which enable our customers to build banking experiences that matter. Our core value propositions include:
We offer providers an agnostic and horizontal platform which enables our customers to select from among best-of-breed banking providers to serve their ecosystem. A typical integration timeline is four to six weeks.
Configuration over customization
By using a no-code/low-code deployment approach, re-platforming efforts are placed on configuration and training. This minimizes the risk of failure of custom code, eliminates the need for large teams and the costs associated therewith, and provides the ability to test and regression-test new capabilities.
Continuous delivery on a single code base
Frequent code upgrades, made possible with new digital architectures, increase our customers’ ability to launch new features and capabilities quickly and regularly. Being untethered from quarterly code upgrades, which arise from the need for extensive integration testing across complex architectures, our customers can accelerate their pace of innovation and drive differentiation. This effect is compounded when using a modern, highly flexible configurable platform.
Drive business insights by combining financial and non financial data. About 34% of the technology spend at banks is governed by business units and not IT. Therefore, to achieve business, customer, and operational objectives, the alignment between these two “sides” needs to be closer than ever.
Case in point: How Toqio is working with one of the world’s biggest breweries
Toqio is helping the brewery modernize and scale its financial offering to over 100,000 partner SMEs in Spain by creating a win-win proposition that accelerates growth within their ecosystem.
Merchant success = brewery success
The brewery is seeking to build vendor loyalty by addressing the most pressing needs of the 100,000 SMEs in its network: profitability (cash flow), financial security (i.e. someone who helps when things go wrong, like the refrigerator breaking), and business growth.
Working with Toqio
Toqio was selected as a partner due to our ability to orchestrate a large number of financial providers (multi-banking), as well as for our ability to get the project to market quickly (configuration over customization). Key features that Toqio will provide include:
Acting as the system orchestrator
Not only will Toqio handle the brewery’s new transactional project requirements, we’ll also incorporate the brewery’s CRM into the mix, harmonizing third party financial data through the Toqio platform. To make the data easy to track and comprehend, we will also develop custom dashboards to provide a single view of a specific client’s financial position.
Providing a low-complexity onboarding experience
The onboarding process will take into account the data requirements of several financial providers. Additional client data will be collected as a new product is engaged and/or used. Certain providers have SDK-based identity verification tools that they require their customers to use: they will only surface upon product need rather than delivering them all up front, which could deliver a poor user experience and drive high drop off.
Loan product development
Toqio will be helping to develop loan origination journeys on our low-code platform, enabling rapid development using custom components, such as optical character recognition (OCR) to read invoices, digital signature integration for signing terms, and more. Further, Toqio will orchestrate pulling data from the brewery’s CRM and/or third party data sources to either pre-qualify clients or to provide additional data sets to loan providers for more effective risk analysis.
Financial products will be surfaced through the Toqio application layer, delivering branded applications for all the brewery’s clients via the web or iOS/Android devices. Everything Toqio produces is, of course, a) hosted as part of Toqio’s standard SaaS model, reducing technical overhead, and b) fully PSD2-, PCI-, and GDPR-compliant.
This project, and Toqio’s part in it, is part of a multi-year transformation program that will see a range of innovative new products and services implemented over the next two to three years.
2 McKinsey article, “Embedded finance: Who will lead the next payments revolution?”
3 EY case study, “How a global FinTech captured growth in the SME segment”