Knowing When It’s Time to Switch BaaS Partners

Blog

July 22, 2022

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Implementing a Banking as a Service (BaaS) strategy is complex, but it can be particularly frustrating when partnerships don’t work out as planned. The vetting process alone can take months, communication strategies are crucial as knowledge gaps are filled on all sides, and implementation can come with legal and technological issues.

This post will explore common obstacles in working with a BaaS partner, what signs to look for when you’re considering switching partners, and how to ensure that a new BaaS partner will meet your company’s needs.

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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.

Common Obstacles When Working with a BaaS Partner

Levvel’s 2022 Banking-as-a-Service Survey of 200 executives in the financial technology (FinTech) and related industries found that despite the effort that goes into finding BaaS partners with similar goals and the technological capabilities, over 60% of respondents indicated that they were somewhat likely (26%), very likely (17%), or extremely likely (20%) to switch partners.

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When asked about the challenges they were having with partners, 20% of BaaS providers reported that problems started early, during the discovery and implementation phases. Among the top challenges were platform integration issues (33%), a lack of ability to scale (25%), partner responsiveness (24%), and expensive pricing.

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Some of these issues can’t be anticipated right off the bat, such as the ability to scale and partner responsiveness, but these are common in a rapidly evolving tech space. The good news is that these problems can often work themselves out as the technology evolves and companies learn from past shortcomings.

What to Do When It’s Time to Switch Partners

Partnerships can be challenging to end after companies invest time, effort, and money into vetting and planning BaaS strategies. This can be more problematic if the implementation has already begun. One option is to bring on other partners if there are shortcomings in the original relationship. However, there can be complications with competing interests and incompatible technology when this happens.

Sometimes the only option is to find a new partner. In this case, the vetting process will be more critical than ever. Luckily, the FinTech will have the experience to ask more relevant questions after having been through some of the planning phases already.

Chances are a company will have some sense of their vision and the offerings they need after a failed partnership, as well as the means to evaluate whether a new partner can help them meet their goals. This can be further aided by asking for evidence of past projects, the plan’s feasibility, and understanding the cost structure that comes with a company’s needs, particularly when it’s necessary to get buy-in from C-suite executives for a second run at a BaaS project.

The Importance of Partner Analysis

For many companies, understanding the options available in the BaaS space and getting on the same page as a partner can be the most laborious part of the process. However, doing this work upfront may provide a good sense of just how invested BaaS providers are in helping maintain the relationship later on.

No partnership has to be perfect from the onset, and many companies in the FinTech and BaaS space grow together as offerings evolve. But Levvel’s research reveals that meaningful discussions, transparency, and candor can help inform where a company may fall short in the long run, so it’s crucial to pick up on these warning signs.

Finding the right partner is critical for executing a BaaS strategy. Performing due diligence on companies by vetting everything from their experience and reputations to their security operations and commitment to compliance can help ensure plans go smoothly and that go-live timelines are met with relative ease.

To learn more, read the full BaaS report by Levvel.

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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