Top Factors to Consider When Looking for a BaaS Partner

Blog

July 8, 2022

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Banking as a Service (BaaS) is changing the financial services game.

FinTechs and other companies are increasingly broadening their product offerings to include financial services. For example, Karat offers credit cards to social media influencers and content creators. Amazon already offers Amazon Pay and Amazon Cash, and IKEA is about to provide a full suite of financing options.

In each of these cases, a non-bank company (Karat, Amazon, and IKEA) embeds financial services into its products. Everyone benefits from these arrangements:

  • Banks increase their revenue
  • A FinTech or another company can launch faster and offer more products to their customers
  • The end-user gets a sleek, integrated experience

Levvel recently surveyed North American FinTech companies to get a snapshot of the state of the industry. The study, Banking-as-a-Service Survey 2022, revealed an industry that is still maturing: Most organizations are either considering or are in the process of implementing BaaS. And one of the biggest challenges is choosing a BaaS partner.

In this blog post, we explore factors that FinTechs should consider when selecting a BaaS partner.

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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.

Flexibility and Scalability Are Key for BaaS Development

FinTechs need partners that can grow with them. Levvel’s research showed that 87% of organizations find flexibility and scalability important when choosing a partner.

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To find the right fit, FinTechs should contact and compare multiple partners to see what each offers. From there, they can lay out product roadmaps, must-have features, and timelines, and then ask BaaS providers to confirm that they can deliver the required features in the specified time.

Do Extensive Research on Partners and Past Projects

Levvel’s research suggests that FinTechs, in general, don’t love their Baas partners—over 60% of our respondents reported being at least somewhat likely to switch BaaS partners. But switching providers can be costly. Past projects are one of the best ways to gauge future success. It’s important to know what a potential partner is capable of doing and whether they have shown they can actually implement a full project.

Consider asking questions of potential BaaS partners like:

  • What projects have they completed in the past?
  • What functionality have they offered?
  • How successful have they been?

FinTechs may prefer companies with a track record for offering services similar to what they need.

Consider Pricing

Because the industry is new, BaaS pricing models vary widely from one company to another. Based on Levvel’s research, about three-quarters charge a customized rate according to the number of services used, while the rest charge a flat rate.

FinTechs should consider the model they prefer based on their service needs and customer volume. It’s critical to take into account both current and future needs. And, as with any purchasing decision, a complete financial analysis can help companies estimate their costs as well as compare between potential partners.

Consider Security and Data Requirements

Lastly, FinTechs should do their due diligence with respect to data privacy and security. The 2022 BaaS Report by Levvel found that compliance, legal, and security concerns were the most common barriers to adopting a BaaS partner.

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With so much at stake in the realm of security, it’s important to understand the BaaS provider’s procedures. To best vet a potential partner, FinTechs can create a list of detailed questions to learn how they manage data security and guarantee privacy. Being intentional about the questions asked can help reduce risk.

Finding the Best BaaS Provider

Finding the right BaaS partner is a challenge—especially since the industry is still maturing. The above BaaS planning strategies can help FinTechs and other companies identify the right partner from the outset, saving time and money.

Want more insights on how FinTech companies are working with BaaS providers? 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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