As the banking landscape evolves and corporate clients demand more personalized, convenient, and seamless experiences, traditional financial institutions (FIs) face increasing pressure to innovate. One of the areas where banks are innovating is new onboarding methods for corporate clients, seeking ways to attract and service these clients in a profitable and scalable manner. Business-to-business (B2B) marketplaces are emerging as effective channels for onboarding corporate clients: They can help FIs reduce marketing costs while reaching many potential users.
Embedded finance, where financial services are integrated into nonfinancial platforms, also plays a role in the evolution of B2B marketplaces. Embedded finance can support the financial supply chain processes of B2B marketplaces, making transactions smoother and more efficient.
An overview of current B2B marketplace offerings shows that there is still limited coverage of financial supply chain capabilities. This presents an opportunity for FIs to provide tailored embedded finance portfolios to address this gap and better serve the financial needs of corporate clients. B2B marketplaces can enhance customer experience, increase loyalty, and generate new revenue streams by incorporating financial services into their platforms. As the demand for embedded finance grows, banks can offer a set of financial management tools integrated seamlessly within the marketplace to efficiently manage the financial supply chain of participants. Banks should also perform due diligence on marketplace intermediaries and plan regular audits for business continuity.
Fintech vendors can provide banks with new distribution channels and access to new customer segments. They can also offer technology, marketing, and customer experience design expertise to help FIs understand and meet evolving customer needs. Additionally, fintech vendors can become avenues for entrepreneurial banks to develop industry-specific banking, payment, and credit products. B2B marketplace-makers can embed financial capabilities within their platforms to generate more revenue, enhance user experience, secure platform stickiness, and gain a competitive advantage. They can also target lesser-known markets that are fundamental to the global economy.
Recently implemented use cases validate the above assumptions.
- Societe Generale has signed a deal with Lemonway—a Pan-European payment institution dedicated to marketplaces, alternative finance platforms, and payment processing—to deliver payment services to large corporates, launching B2B marketplaces in Western Europe.
- Samsung Electronics, Samsung’s B2B online store dedicated to small and midsize businesses, will expand to 30 countries worldwide.
- Johnson & Johnson has been leveraging its infrastructure to provide payments and decisioning layers that digitize workflows, stretching from procurement to extending credit to suppliers.
- Agro.Club, a digital agribusiness sales enablement platform, partnered with Crealsa, a Spanish neobank, to offer factoring, supply chain financing, transactional services, and “buy now, pay later” to farmers and distributors.
Incorporating financial services into B2B marketplaces offers significant opportunities for banks, fintech vendors, and B2B marketplace-makers. By leveraging embedded finance, they can better serve the needs of their customers, access new revenue streams, and stay competitive in the evolving landscape of financial services.
Embedded finance for B2B marketplaces is the focus of an upcoming report from Aite-Novarica Group. Keep an eye on this space in the coming weeks for more on this topic.