When Vertical SaaS Meets Fintech: How and Why to IntegrateBy: Megan Heinz | August 7, 2023
SaaS companies have spent the past decade revolutionizing tech. Now, these same companies are learning how to incorporate fintech into their business strategy and core offerings. In doing so, SaaS companies are better aligning to the needs of SMBs, cutting expenses and reducing churn — all while generating additional revenue and growing their customer base.
In a recent Mainsail Partners webinar, Mainsail’s Vice President of RevOps and Payments, Meg Heinz sat down with Co-Founder and CEO of Wisetack, Bobby Tzekin, to discuss ways to help successfully establish and execute a SaaS fintech strategy.
The full webinar is available to watch HERE. Below are Mainsail’s top takeaways.
Why embrace fintech?
Tzekin observes that the vertical SaaS industry is facing a challenge: acquiring SMB customers is expensive; SMBs don’t want to (or can’t) afford expensive monthly subscriptions; and SMBs are churning at a higher rate. Clearly, this impacts a SaaS company’s ability to rely on its customer base and grow its bottom line.
Enter fintech. The fintech ecosystem includes a wide range of operational capabilities, including payment processing, lending, banking and infrastructure, bookkeeping, spend management, insurance, employee services, risk mitigation and more. Of note, these offerings can enable SaaS companies to attract and retain customers (especially SMBs) because they are built into the products your customers are already using.
Tzekin encourages SaaS companies to embrace fintech product offerings because:
- “Everyone’s doing it.” By 2026, embedded fintech will account for 10% of all payment transactions.
- Embedded fintech can make your product more valuable to customers as it can solve pain points such as cash flow issues or capital attainment and add value. For the company, this can mean lower churn.
- Fintech solutions can present a new stream of recurring revenue. Some SaaS companies generate 40%+ from fintech offerings alone.
Planning for a fintech integration launch
A good fintech strategy is rooted in a deep understanding of your company’s product and customers, overlaid with a holistic plan for implementation.
To launch an integrated fintech solution in a SaaS business, Tzekin proposes the following:
STEP 1: STRATEGIZE – KNOW WHAT YOU’RE BUILDING AND WHY
Start by identifying the unique problems your platform fulfills or the customer pain point you want to solve with fintech. Consider your entire sales process, from lead-generation all the way through to invoicing and think about which steps could be served with fintech integrations. Then, align your fintech offerings to these unique steps and solutions.
For example, if your SaaS business is focused on the front end of customer payment services, you could offer financing instead of credit card processing — integrating a fintech solution on top of an existing process to add value to the customer while increasing revenue.
The success of a fintech strategy is heavily driven from knowing what you want to build, gaining buy-in and investment from leadership.
STEP 2: BUILD – CREATE THE FOUNDATION
Don’t get so caught up in revenue generation that you forget to consider resource allocation. Watch your metrics and consider trends in your product growth curve. Are your customers demanding fintech features and for what purpose? Do you have the resources to deliver an excellent fintech product?
Recruit the right talent for a dedicated fintech team. Look for prior fintech experience, including risk function professionals. Ensure there is cross-functional collaboration across the organization — including marketing, sales, finance and customer success — not just product.
Finally, select the tools and providers that will serve as building blocks for your fintech strategy.
STEP 3: GROW – DRIVE PRODUCT ADOPTION
This is where Sales and Marketing come in. The Sales team’s task is to determine how to get more people to use your products, while Marketing needs to position, train, and enable customers to use your products.
Building a product or integration in and of itself is not enough to support your fintech strategy. You need to train and compensate the team cross-functionally to support the adoption and utilization across the customer base.
STEP 4: MANAGE – DELIVER ANALYTICAL AND FINANCIAL FRAMEWORKS FOR THE FINTECH PRODUCT SUITE
Measure everything! From adoption, to utilization, to retention and NRR. This is where you will realize how important it was to staff-up for a fintech launch, as this stage requires having resources to provide customer service and support, track insights, and make continuous improvements based on those insights.
Launching your fintech offerings
Incorporating fintech into your product offerings is a serious commitment that will require work far beyond the launch phase. The initial product needs to be solid, but you also need to be prepared to deliver ongoing upgrades.
As Tzekin says, “It takes more commitment and planning than you expect.”
Your GTM will require a high-touch effort from Sales and Marketing, so consider an innovative onboarding process to smooth the transition. Remain agile when monitoring your active-customer feedback loop and ongoing customer success and support teams. Remember: your fintech offerings value proposition should revolve around time and resource savings.
One final note: don’t limit fintech opportunities to your highest-paying (or highest-tiered!) customers. Instead, opt-in all your customers into your fintech offerings, ensure you deliver a great customer experience, and treat fintech as a core component of your business.
Embracing the future of fintech
Like the SaaS industry itself, fintech appears to be redefining how customers interact with tech. Given that fintech will account for 10% of all payment transactions by 2026, and that you have a revenue growth opportunity of 40%+, now is the time to learn out how fintech can serve your organization and your customers. With the right strategies, teams and tools in place, fintech can become an essential part of your SaaS product offerings, improve your retention rates and drive overall company success.
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