How Embedded Financial Services Can Bring New Life to the B2B SaaS Sector
Over the past couple decades, Software as a Service (SaaS) companies have gradually evolved from a small pool of software development startups to a driving force behind the operations of businesses across industries.
The sector is seen to reach a whopping $623 billion by the year 2023 at a compound annual growth rate of 18%.
Everything from how businesses market their products and services, to how consumers engage with markets and navigate their personal devices, have been shaped in one way or another by SaaS platforms and their ability to optimize cloud technology for a variety of applications.
But with all that’s been achieved in the SaaS sector up until this point, it seems natural to wonder where these platforms will go from here, and whether there might be some barriers to further development.
How are SaaS providers adjusting to the overall growing trend toward embedded financial services for traditionally non-financial organizations?
This question is uniquely relevant to B2B SaaS providers, particularly organizations that deal heavily in financial matters but were conceived prior to the current fintech revolution.
In order to get an idea of how these entities can remain lucrative in the future, it’s important to first take a brief look at their evolution, and identify what’s made them so successful from the outset.
The Evolution of SaaS
While many would point to Salesforce as the original SaaS, there are other platforms that existed prior to the marketing and analytics powerhouse, which in retrospect we might have called SaaS companies “in incubation.”
For our purposes, we needn’t look further than Concur, a business travel and expense software provider with a history that predates SaaS platforms as we know them today.
Formerly offering physical software solutions before the emergence and widespread utilization of cloud technology, Concur restructured itself as one of the first pure SaaS platforms of its kind shortly after the 2001 market crash.
From there, the company observed more than a decade’s worth of exponential growth before their eventual record-breaking acquisition by SAP.
By sheer anticipation, Concur was able to capitalize on new developments in the tech space as the internet matured throughout the years.
As the cost of hosting servers fell, and frustrating limitations on bandwidth began to open up, Concur and other early B2B players in the SaaS space were able to offer increasingly efficient processes and reliable solutions to their client base.
For the most part, early adopters in the B2B SaaS sector have enjoyed a considerable amount of success in their respective fields. However, many have done so by offering finance-related services in a pre-fintech context.
Inevitably, we must arrive back at the question we began with:
Have these companies already reached their greatest potential, or do they stand to evolve further by embracing the various tools and strategies of the emerging fintech industry?
The Next Phase
We have a natural bias at HUBUC when it comes to answering the above question, because we don’t only believe that B2B SaaS companies can identify a workable connection between their current services and emerging trends in embedded finance, but it’s something that we actually do.
And the more we evaluate recent developments in banking and financial services, as well as current and foreseeable consumer expectations, the more embedded solutions seem like an eventual necessity in the SaaS space.
For one thing, the implementation of embedded financial services is a direct enhancement of a company’s product offering.
In addition to creating new revenue streams, the versatility of applications that comes with embedded financial capabilities helps organizations to maintain a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded digital environment.
Such advantages compound significantly for B2B SaaS companies who already deal heavily with finances but don't' want to become a fintech, as it provides new possibilities for expansion into international markets that would otherwise be nearly impossible to penetrate, whether due to licensing requirements or the navigation of unfamiliar financial regulations.
By partnering with the right provider, these famously difficult expansions become significantly more manageable, as truly qualified providers will cover everything:
From securing the necessary banking and financial services partnerships in the targeted regions, to ensuring regulatory compliance and dealing directly with local (foreign) banks.
Who benefits first?
With remote and hybrid work arrangements becoming the new standard, the desire for flexibility among potential new hires is increasingly apparent.
Companies are incentivized more than ever to include employee benefits, offer wage advance and pay remote workers across the globe.
Embedded financial service providers can make it easier for B2B SaaS companies in payroll, accounting and expense management in such benefits to be realized across diverse locations.
Beyond that, many companies can enhance their existing value proposition to gain a stronger competitive edge.
For example, B2B SaaS companies working in HR can also enhance the services they offer to their clients by integrating payroll functionality, making their offerings more versatile at no additional cost to employers.
Of course, however attractive these benefits may be, it’s important to note that each organization has its own unique needs, and therefore each should be clear about what they hope to accomplish before deciding to partner with one platform or another.
If the goal is international expansion, the company should have a basic idea of the jurisdiction in the region they expect to do business in, i.e. which regulations exist that might represent a significant obstacle to product development?
Naturally, the smartest bet is moving forward with a partner capable of adapting to a company’s individual initiatives by design.
This is exactly why we're comfortable describing HUBUC’s new model as a powerhouse for B2B SaaS organizations.
Our low-code platform provides unmatched simplicity for our clients, allowing traditionally non-fintech providers to capitalize on embedded finance trends without the high cost/high risk undertaking of developing their own financial services from scratch.
We cover all compliance needs with a dedicated in-house team, and maintain the highest transaction security currently available on the market.
Moreover, we value our partners as true collaborators, and in addition to providing the functionality for implementing embedded financial capabilities, we remain available as consultants to address any issues both during and after the transition.
You might even say that while some providers sign the contract and toss you the keys, HUBUC is always right there in the passenger seat, ready to address whatever challenges may arise.
Through the use of our single API platform, B2B SaaS entities can begin to integrate financial services into their platforms, unlocking the potential for novel growth in an otherwise seemingly maxed out tech space.
- increasing market presence
- creating entirely new revenue streams
- expanding on the wealth of value already provided to existing clients
From our perspective, the widespread implementation of financial services could absolutely represent the next phase in development for many software providers, and could very well be evidence that the evolution of the SaaS sector is far from complete.