The demand for better digital banking and streamlined spend management is leading to innovative solutions in the Virtual Cards space.
Most financial services add a lot of value for their customers; however, retention comes from their software’s differentiating factor and not the financial benefits.
While ‘Payments’ is the first area to be dominated by fintech technology, there are many other financial services, such as lending, virtual cards, etc. that provide many opportunities. Payment processing is the simplest option to add first, but companies can layer additional financial services and products based on the market’s requirements. For example, Shopify started offering lending products because they knew that many of their merchants could not secure a traditional bank loan.
Let’s look at the different models that have emerged and how they open up new fintech opportunities to explore.
Many vertical software companies have monetized payment processing – the best example is when Shopify leveraged Stripe’s API to simplify their merchants’ checkout flow and management. While white labeling payments from PSPs is a valid option, it is challenging to monetize via additional mark-up fees. Organizations that have made this work usually have high transaction volumes or provide tangible reasons to transact over their platform.
There is quite a lot of opportunity in payments, and the next wave will feature new software providers with even more complex payout flows. For example, managing payments across multiple stakeholders and contractors.
Lending & Financing
Let’s talk about loans of various types for a SaaS company’s customers. This type of lending usually comes in the form of 6 to 36 months short term loans. The lending opportunity depends on the type of loan, but it is most effective for companies with uneven spending.
SaaS companies have rich transaction data and can understand the industry’s nuances better than traditional banks. Therefore, they can potentially offer loans to startups who could not access the required credit line from a bank. Historically, the primary process of providing loans was through referrals, but software players have started working directly with banks and lending partners to enable accessible lending programs with deep data integrations.
If current trends hold, we will witness a rise in software providers frequently accessing lending programs as lending-as-a-service continues to mature.
Software companies are also venturing into bank accounts where the end customers can create transactional virtual accounts to hold money and make payments from. A dedicated platform would benefit users with a secure place to easily maintain funds, rather than making constant bank transfers. We have seen this trend apply to e-commerce, hospitality and other service providers where these accounts help manage the inflow of payments. These bank accounts can be enabled with little effort with the help of strategic partnerships as more and more banking-as-a-service providers emerge.
Direct card issuance for employees or end customers to use has seen a rapid growth with companies offering both virtual and physical cards. In particular, spend management software providers like Brex, Divvy, Aspire and Spendesk are all competing for wallet share within the high-growth technology customer segments.
There are other vertical markets; however, that could greatly benefit from virtual or physical cards. This holds particularly true for companies with many contractors/vendors and employees who frequently adopt and use various tools and services.
Subscription Purchase & Management
At Subtra, we understand that it’s almost impossible to get bank-issued credit cards for startups. So most companies end up using their personal credit cards to pay for their company subscriptions. Moreover, a lot of these payments add unwanted costs as companies end up paying for unwanted, duplicate and even forgotten subscriptions with no control over what is being purchased.
To solve these issues, we have created an enterprise subscription management platform. We allow users to purchase, manage and automate their company subscriptions by issuing multi-currency wallets and prepaid cards. We combine deep technological analytics to automatically optimize your teams’ subscription stacks.
We are continually pushing the boundaries of financial technology to bring the best platform experience to our customers.