FTT Embedded Finance


B2C connected commerce: Integrating embedded finance with emerging technologies

For me, the definition of embedded finance is simple. It’s integrating financial services or tools – such as payments, lending, or insurance – directly into non-financial companies.

But what it leads to is so much more significant. It’s a seamless customer experience that allows customers to do everything they need to in one app.

As customers, our expectations are high. We want friction free and quick simple engagements. We don’t want to be moving from one app to another, and we want our platforms to remember us, and what we were doing and thinking.

At Edenred Payment Solutions, we had the opportunity to take to the stage at FTT Embedded Finance & Super-Apps to discuss exactly this. Alongside our clients Jinesh Vohra, CEO & Co-Founder of Sprive, and Oli Cook, CEO & Co-Founder of ekko – we also chatted with industry experts Wasim Mushtaq, Managing Director at 1CG, and Ishtiaq Ahmed, Global Lead of Product Innovation, Sustainability & Experiences at HSBC.

Good embedded finance is hidden. Our role is to help these businesses build and thrive, nothing more and nothing less…

So how can this look in real life? In our work with Sprive, we help them deliver the smoothest customer experience possible. Sprive is a mortgage overpayment app designed to help homeowners save on interest and become mortgage-free faster.  It does this by analysing typical spending behaviour and sets aside spare cash, and provides  smart cashback opportunities with everyday retailers. The Sprive service also monitors the best mortgage deals to ensure customers are on the best plan.

With Sprive, users have an e-money account which is powered by Edenred Payment Solutions where these savings and contributions are held, and at the click of a button, they can make payments to their mortgage lender. It’s embedded finance behaving exactly as it should; simple, seamless, and behind the scenes.

Meanwhile, ekko is an innovative fintech company focused on sustainability. They offer a debit card and banking app that track the carbon footprint of each transaction and help users offset it. Additionally, ekko plants trees and funds plastic collection for each purchase made with their card.

Here, Edenred Payment Solution’s cards are integrated with ekko’s platform meaning ekko customers use our cards for transactions while leveraging ekko’s sustainability features. Every transaction made using an Edenred Payment Solutions card linked to ekko is tracked for its carbon footprint, and ekko’s app provides insights into the environmental impact of users’ spending.

Customers of ekko have no reason to even know that Edenred Payment Solutions are involved in their transactions. While we offer a powerful facilitation of products and services, customers want to have a relationship with ekko, not us. And we know that.

Flexible solutions are crucial, and it’s the role of providers to find the best fit.

Both Sprive and ekko are vastly different businesses, so it’s only natural that the way they engage embedded finance is very different too. What works for a retail business or a fintech company won’t work for a coffee shop. Context is everything.

At Edenred Payment Solutions, we offer fully customisable solutions with 300+ APIs that create tailored solutions for everyone we work with. But we’re not just a provider in the process, we are an integral partner.

In non-financial services apps, it’s unreasonable to believe the owners and creators should know exactly what they need from financial services. It’s a complicated, heavily regulated, and technical part of any business, and embedded finance companies aren’t just there to deliver a service, they need to hand-hold at each stage. It’s an exciting part of the collaboration process, and it’s critical in making sure businesses get exactly what they need.

We need to consider the right amount of friction…

Seamlessness is relative. We want a quick payment for a morning croissant, but considerably more time and consideration for a new mortgage deal. An appropriate level of friction is something that needs to be designed and built into every embedded finance offer. It’s especially important when we consider the rising number of APP scams in the UK and worldwide, so we must consider some friction as an important part of our process.

So when we come back to the question: How can embedded finance be integrated with emerging technologies? It comes down to three core things.

  1. Embedded finance belongs behind the scenes, it’s a crucial part of allowing financial services into non-financial companies, but it should never be front and centre.
  2. Every partnership looks different, customisable solutions are essential to create the seamless and neat experience customers have come to expect.
  3. But ‘seamless’ shouldn’t mean ‘too easy’. There’s an appropriate level of friction that needs to be built into every customer journey, and that looks different for each company.

The role of embedded finance providers is to manage all of these things for their customers and clients, to ensure the best possible experience delivered from behind the scenes. Ultimately, that’s how I believe embedded finance should be integrated with emerging technologies.

About the author

  • Karine Martinez
    Head of Sales, Edenred Payment Solutions

    Karine Martinez is Head of Sales at Edenred Payment Solutions, and is responsible for sales across both retail and fintech, two of the businesses biggest growth markets. She formerly worked at Railsr most recently as Head of Portfolio Accounts, Core Markets UK & Europe, before moving over to Edenred Payment Solutions in December of 2022.

P.S. If you want to participate in more great conversations and learn more about the latest trends in embedded finance, join us on the FTT Embedded Finance & Super Apps stage at the Fintech Talents Festival. Meet those leading the way in making embedded finance possible for fintechs, banks and a broad range of non-financial brands on  11th – 12th November.