The rise of platforms: How digitalisation is changing finance
The ways in which we pay for things today are infinitely more varied than the ways we used to. And they’re infinitely more digitalised. Gone are the days of pockets full of rattling change or catching the bus to the local bank to cash a cheque. This is the age of cryptocurrency, contactless payments, and the innumerable other ways we swap money for goods.
The payment options available to consumers are only going to multiply further as technology grows and changes. So, if you’re going to run an online marketplace, you need to be adaptable and extensible – you need to have the ability to quickly add new avenues of payment. And if you don’t have the technical capability to evolve with this ever-changing market then you’re going to get left behind. You’ll be VHS in a DVD era … even in the age of streaming.
Bringing real estate into the digital age
Leading online marketplaces have already cottoned on, and they are riding the rapid rate of digitalisation that is occurring. But other sectors are shackled to the bonds of antiquity, still operating in the same way they have done for decades.
Let’s take the real estate sector for example. Compared to the purchase of almost any other product, the process of buying or renting a property is like something from the 1930s. There are reams of forms to fill out, witnesses to watch over as you sign the dotted line, and endless toing and froing between letting agencies, mortgage companies and banks.
The future of embedded finance within the real estate sector is not only preferable to today’s old fashioned payment methods, but it is a vital change. For instance, the process of buying a house or agreeing a rental agreement is a long winded and frustrating process. It involves credit checks, choosing products and terms, making and holding deposits and several other time-consuming and irritating administrative processes. To say nothing of property maintenance, or considering real estate from an investment, commercial or leisure point of view.
In the natively digital world we are used to, you would expect to decide on a property and complete the transaction on the spot. This is where embedded finance comes in, superpower-like, enabling innovators to automate otherwise frustrating logistics seamlessly and invisibly in the background of a slick digital product.
This alleviates the need to trapse back across town to the letting agency to fill out more forms and make a credit transfer for the deposit. Moving house is stressful enough and this greatly improves the whole experience for the tenant or the buyer. It’s also far more efficient for the middle men (letting agents, mortgage brokers and the like) and saves them time, as well benefitting the landlord or the seller as they can complete all the transactions required far quicker and easier, improving the customer experience and enriching the bottom line.
Streamlining health and wellbeing
Recent events have shone a light on other industries that seemed destined for a life as brick-and-mortar establishments but are now moving towards being online marketplaces.
The trend towards the digitalisation of the health industry across Europe will only grow. We’ve seen how the increase in virtual appointments that can be delivered online has simplified the whole experience. The organising of these virtual appointments still requires a degree of manual input though, a hassle that embedded finance could enable innovators to alleviate. Once the handling of payments is streamlined, the medical professionals can be left to do what they do best.
The same efficient payment processes that embedded finance offers can be applied to healthcare when abroad. Specific to the UK, the departure from the EU has led to the phasing out of the EHIC card – a way in which UK citizens could access free healthcare in Europe. The international scope that embedded finance offers could enable a simplification of paying for healthcare abroad on a global scale.
On a more everyday level, there are already fitness and wellbeing apps that offer payment and rewards to customers for walking and doing exercise. It is these sorts of innovations and changes that the medical sector needs to have a head start on. It all comes back to being ahead of the curve in an ever-changing market, and embedded finance unlocks the innovation you need to stay at the front of that curve.
An integrated system in education and training
There’s no doubt that the way we consume and purchase goods is dominated by online marketplaces. So why not the way we learn, train, and work too?
Education delivery is already shifting online, from tutoring services to university courses, and from commercial training to creator platforms like MasterClass. The more ambitious these are in scope, the more unwieldy the supporting payment infrastructure can become, partly because the status quo can’t easily accommodate innovation. And a sleeker, integrated payment process can be the competitive edge a company needs to attract and retain both trainers and learners.
In the corporate learning ecosystem, companies are keen to keep their teams both engaged and highly skilled. But in the overpopulated landscape of professional development, locating cutting edge resources is beyond a struggle. Platforms that organise and curate great learning content are ever more valuable. Platforms that also simplify the challenges of payment and reconciliation even more so.
A fine tuned future for the gig economy
To resist the future of work is to place your company at a competitive disadvantage. Whether it’s offering online talks, personal training sessions, or a creative freelancer delivering a graphic design project – the gig economy is growing rapidly and is here to stay.
Distributed workforces are becoming the norm. But to operate efficiently they need platforms that can keep all the moving parts in check. Embedded finance provides a payment infrastructure, automates reconciliation, and helps you deliver benefits digitally, so you can deliver a one stop shop for the future of the gig economy.
Ultimately, it’s about keeping up with the evolving world of online marketplaces. The whole world is moving towards digitalisation and with embedded finance you can move with it.
Embedding financial services into your marketplace has never been simpler.
With Weavr’s revolutionary plug-and-play embedded finance solutions, you can easily, quickly and safely integrate finance features such as cards, accounts and IBAN’s into your UX and workflows, for a seamless customer experience that directly enhances your offering.
Talk to us about embedding finance into your marketplace.