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Looking into a crystal ball
Tom Bell -- CEO, MaastJan 17, 2024 2:32:07 PM6 min read

THE WAY AHEAD: 4 embedded finance trends to watch in 2024

Key Insights

  • The rapid and almost total acceptance of embedded payments by SaaS providers has opened the door for a greater embedded finance conversation
  • Embedded finance is more than payments – it’s a strategy for vertical-focused SaaS providers to host a greater portion of their customers’ business operations
  • An evolving regulatory environment will require closer collaboration between embedded finance providers and bank sponsors
  • Embedded financial technologies that remain focused on providing exceptional customer experiences and easy, seamless implementation have a clear advantage



In 2011, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen announced software is eating the world. In 2020, Angela Strange at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz predicted every company will be a fintech company. As we enter 2024, that future has never been closer, and embedded finance is clearing the way for better, faster, and more transparent experiences for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies and their customers.

Here’s why:


Embedded finance goes mainstream… in a big way

Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms, e-commerce marketplace, and other SaaS providers know about the power of integrated payments. In 2023, their view began expanding to include banking services. Being able to confidently accept customer payments and offer integrated banking on hyper-verticalized platforms unlocked new revenue streams for the software providers and allowed business owners to enjoy more centralized operations.

Adding fintech solutions can increase SaaS providers’ revenue per customer 2-5 times while opening up new markets.1 Today, embedded payments are merely table stakes for ISVs and other SaaS providers. According to a recent national survey by the Strawhecker Group, 89% of ISVs already have integrated payments.2 The good news is there’s plenty of room to grow, and software providers are investing in financial technologies needed for the unique needs of their industries and platforms. In fact, 65% of businesses do not currently offer embedded finance services but plan to consider adding them.3

Some early adopters include (1) Lyft drivers who can collect payments through the app and immediately use funds they have earned with a Lyft debit card and (2) business owners using Shopify who funnel payments into a business banking account.

An end-to-end embedded finance ecosystem should help business owners follow their money on one platform, under one brand. Nearly two-thirds of small- and medium-sized businesses are interested in financial services embedded within a platform.4 SaaS providers can help their customers not only accept payments but also bank on their platform with integrated business checking accounts (to keep their money safe), high-yield savings accounts (to protect and grow profits), lending (to bridge short-term cash shortfalls or make capital investments), and more.

A wide array of cross-functional solutions helps keep business owners (and their money) on-platform longer and more successfully. Can SaaS providers offer business owners a place to keep and use their processed payments? How can an ISV help simplify expense management? Is there an advantage for an ERP to provide high-yield business savings accounts to business owners who keep higher balances?

Embedded finance providers can offer intriguing solutions, if they can fulfill their promise in the best interest of customers and within a broad array of overlapping legal and compliance requirements.


New questions for fintech companies from bank sponsors

We have noticed a shift over the past few years. In 2022 the market was trying to figure out what this new term “embedded finance” meant. This past year many fintech analysts and reporters added their own perspectives on embedded finance. Depending on who’s being asked, embedded finance services can include banking accounts, payment acceptance, lending, and also buy now, pay later (BNPL) arrangements, accounting, and insurance. How can SaaS providers evaluate potential partners? Banking partnerships are a key.

In 2024, heightened regulatory oversight will drive the embedded finance conversation and could impact operational and strategic activities. SaaS businesses need a safe and secure long-term partner they can depend on to help navigate complex regulatory environments and reassure their customers that their hard-earned money is protected. I predict this year we will see a heightened sensitivity for embedded finance, PaaS, and BaaS providers to not only have the necessary technology, close relationships with trusted and established financial institutions, and proven regulatory policies and procedures. Maast, for example, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Synovus Bank, Member FDIC.5 The money flowing through our platform is backed by one of the most innovative and respected banks in the Southeast.


Customer and employee experience trumps brand identification

One of the many ways Steve Jobs revolutionized the tech industry is how his initial, revolutionary promise of “it just works” has become customers’ minimum expectation today. Embedded finance arose as an ideal merging of two environments – payment acceptance and the app marketplace – in a way that just works.

Business owners are looking to reduce the number of systems they and their employees use to run their business so they can spend more time focused on doing what they love, but navigating through endless options can be a daunting prospect. As many as 89% of small business owners say they don’t make more use of new digital tools because of expense, implementation challenges, or complexity.6 

Soon embedded finance offerings integrated into business software will replace much of the integration marketplace we’ve come to know and accept.

Vertical-specific SaaS providers know the challenges and desires of business owners, their employees, and their customers and have the expertise to short-list solutions. Payment acceptance is an obvious value-add, but often SaaS providers lacked the time and incentive to fully integrate it into their platforms. Embedded finance – when done right -- makes it possible to provide the technological spine and provide a seamless customer experience across a wide array of critical business features, from business checking accounts and accounts payable today to insurance, human resources, and more tomorrow.

When tomorrow’s business owners log in to their ISV’s platform, they’ll find a more complete business operating experience than could be imagined even a few years ago. With the entire experience comfortably within the ISV’s brand, customers will get the omnichannel experience 90% of them expect.7

It just has to work. 


Turnkey solutions will lead the way

The technologies comprising embedded finance are out there: a digital banking core, a banking sponsor, a payments platform, and the APIs to tie them together. The challenge of seamlessly integrating these technologies in a way that’s easy for SaaS providers, invisible to their customers and compliant with regulators, has slowed market acceptance to date. But forward-thinking SaaS providers understand the potential, and they’re eager to participate.

Software providers should ask three essential questions when evaluating potential embedded finance partners to ensure a smooth, turnkey experience:

  1. How is your onboarding and underwriting process designed to integrate seamlessly with our platform, and how much customization is required on our end?
  2. Do you have a detailed playbook for how to maximize customer base conversion?
  3. How do you manage customer application, onboarding, and communications throughout the product cycle?

The responses provided won’t tell you everything about your prospective partner, but you’ll learn enough to decide whether you can feel confident moving forward with them.

SaaS providers don’t have to be sold embedded payments – they expect it. The promise and challenge of 2024 is leveraging the success of embedded payments to expand the breadth of financial solutions software companies can offer to their customers. ISVs, ERPs, and e-commerce marketplaces are looking for someone who can deliver a scalable solution with the flexibility to grow with their needs, and that’s where we come in.


1 Source: Allen, Patricia. “Tapping embedded finance: Let the revenue stream.” EU-Startups. 10 May 2023.

2 Source: “2023 Software Study Report. TSG RSPA. July 2023.

3 Source: Hetler, Amanda. “Embedded explained: Everything you need to know.” TechTarget. 17 Nov 2023.

4 Source: “How platforms are revolutionizing SMB banking.” Boston Consulting Group.

5 Banking products are provided by Synovus Bank, Member FDIC.

6 Source: Small Business Index Annual Report 2023. Intuit QuickBooks. 2023.

7 Source: Korhana, Vikas. “Modern Customers Expect an Omnichannel Experience, and Marketers Need to Rise to the Occasion.”


Tom Bell -- CEO, Maast

A healthy curiosity of others’ perspectives is what inspires Tom Bell. With 40+ years of consulting, tech, and payments expertise – CEO of Bank of America Merchant Services, Merchant e-Solutions, and Transaction Services Group - Tom encourages his people to imagine what could be, not what is.