Creating a Go-Live Timeline for Your BaaS Strategy

Blog

July 15, 2022

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Implementing a banking as a service (BaaS) strategy requires careful planning and transparency by both the FinTech and the BaaS provider. Depending on the complexity of the project and products offered, full implementation can take years, during which companies can encounter many different types of roadblocks. But these can often be overcome by having a realistic go-live timeline and the knowledge to anticipate potential difficulties.

Levvel’s 2022 Banking-as-a-Service Survey polled over 200 executives in FinTech and industries that use FinTech services to shed light on the issues they’ve faced during partner vetting, planning, and implementation. Below, you’ll find the information that companies and investors wish they’d known before choosing a partner and implementing a BaaS strategy.

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Levvel's 2022 Banking-as-a-Service Report is here.

Levvel’s Banking as a Service (BaaS) report reveals the state of BaaS implementation among FinTechs and the value of selecting the right BaaS partner.

Creating a BaaS Go-Live Timeline

Levvel’s survey found that most companies believe they will go live in under two years, with the majority assuming implementation will be complete in under a year. But many factors go into selecting a provider, defining a strategy, negotiating an agreement, starting implementation, and testing the final product before a BaaS project can be considered a success.

Levvel’s data shows that many companies understand these challenges and have tempered their expectations with realistic go-live estimates. Since the timelines are largely consistent across segments, it’s also likely that BaaS providers aren’t necessarily looking to specialize in one industry vertical or segment but rather plan to take the time to provide a diverse array of services to a variety of companies.

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Preventing Implementation Barriers to Your BaaS Strategy

Choosing an appropriate BaaS partner is the most crucial step in BaaS planning and strategy. By asking questions about their history, completed projects, successes and failures, pricing, and the feasibility and scalability of a specific plan up front, companies can prevent confusion and backtracking later on that can interfere with the timeline.

Few of the executives surveyed had yet to go live with a BaaS partner, so Levvel asked about the barriers they faced in implementing their BaaS strategy. The most common problem faced by 35% of responders was compliance, legal, and security concerns, a large category encompassing everything from adhering to regulatory frameworks to building cybersecurity measures.

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It’s natural to see budget and technical constraints and difficulty maintaining buy-in on the list of concerns. Still, it’s important to note that a lack of understanding of currently available products is the second largest barrier responders face. While explaining technicalities isn’t necessarily easy, it’s a process that’s worth taking the time to get right early in the process so that FinTechs are aware of the full range of possibilities that can serve their end-users. Any information deemed a surprise later on will halt a go-live timeline and may even call for a reassessment of the project.

Another potential issue is that not all BaaS providers offer the complete suite of services a FinTech might want in their portfolio. A BaaS provider willing to be transparent about that, to work with other providers, or that agrees to grow their services along with their new partners can help alleviate long-term concerns about success.

Strategies for Choosing a BaaS Partner

Relationships don’t work without trust. The good news for FinTechs is that BaaS providers and banks have every reason to do their due diligence regarding regulatory and security risks to protect their partners. However, FinTechs also need to spend time on research and become knowledgeable about the BaaS space so they know which questions to ask potential partners.

FinTechs should at least be able to create a priority list of the services they want to offer so that conversations with BaaS providers can focus on whether the deliverables are possible within the desired timeframe. The last thing a FinTech company wants to do is switch partners after the planning process has already begun.

There are many partnership considerations to take into account when starting a BaaS program, but the primary quality of a good partner is their ability to communicate clearly about the plan ahead so that implementation becomes a winning moment for everyone.

For more information on the current state of BaaS, read the complete 2022 Banking-as-a-Service Survey by Levvel, an Endava company.

Authored By

Scott Harkey, Chief Strategy Officer, Head of Financial Services & Payments

Scott Harkey

Chief Strategy Officer, Head of Financial Services & Payments

Meet our Experts

Scott Harkey, Chief Strategy Officer, Head of Financial Services & Payments

Scott Harkey

Chief Strategy Officer, Head of Financial Services & Payments

Scott Harkey is Levvel's Chief Strategy Officer while also leading the Payments and Financial Services work. He has 15 years of banking experience including leading the technology team that implemented digital wallet products at Bank of America along with 10 years of technology merger integration and IT operations outsourcing work at Wells Fargo. Scott brings a unique “insider” point of view combined with a proven track record of delivery to banks, technology providers, and merchants exploring the digital payments space.

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