The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about seismic shifts in all business sectors, finance included. While digital transformation was already imperative before the pandemic, it has dramatically accelerated the timeline.
Most business leaders know that technology is the key to remaining competitive in an ever-evolving landscape. Even consumers' expectations have evolved to expect the immediacy, convenience, accuracy, personalization, and user experience that digital services offer. At the same time that mobile banking usage grew by 34% (26% growth for online banking), banking at branches dropped by 12%.
A further driver for the push towards digitization is the continued uptick in Fintech/NeoBank services. When polled, 24% of consumers said they would switch banking to Google, Amazon, or Apple if it simplified money management. So, financial service providers are not only under pressure to transform from fledgling startups but also Big Tech.
In recent years, conventional financial institutions have responded to this pressure in primarily two ways:
i) Build their tech capabilities to bring convenience to customers and compete directly with fintech.
ii) Partner with fintech startups and tech companies to enhance banking functionality.
i) is a very costly, time and resource-intensive, and risk-laden undertaking. This is especially true for businesses that have not had the opportunity to develop the culture, pedigree, or internal foundations for this type of cutting-edge technological innovation.
Furthermore, until now, both i) and ii) have been limited mainly to banking functions only. For example, deposits/withdrawals, loans, wealth management, investment, forex, and other "traditional banking functions".
Many banks or financial institutions today also partner with high-value SMBs to penetrate or serve specific markets with specific products and services. However, even if banks are willing to evolve, how do they empower their partners or customers to do the same?
In the guide below, we’ll show how Universell can help in overcoming these speed bumps to your digital transformation.
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First of all, banks now need to go where their market is. Digitization has shifted Consumer expectations to expect service providers to come to them instead of the other way around. To achieve this, understanding the behavior and pressing concerns of banking customers is a precondition. Only then can businesses effectively respond to users' needs, desires, and pain points regarding the banking technology/software they use.
On average, SMBs with revenue >$100,000 spend 27% of that amount on Tech + Commerce Enablement. No surprise considering the extensive tech ecosystem that makes up modern finance businesses - POS, business software, marketing, payroll, etc.
To put it into perspective, just 5% of revenue is spent on traditional banking activities, such as financing, payment, and insurance.
It's clear that business leaders have already decided to hedge their bets by offering broader services beyond pure payments. This makes sense if you consider that the revenue of just the ten most valuable SaaS companies is $1 trillion, while the total revenue of the entire global digital banking industry is just $30 billion.
We are well and truly in the age of value-added services. McKinsey themselves estimates a $100 billion opportunity in servicing SMBs through merchant acquisition.
According to McKinsey, Commerce Enablement will see the most significant CAGR among merchant services. They estimate an 18-20% CAGR from 2020-2025, reaching a total value of $589 billion. Performance solutions regarding payments, infrastructure, and services are close behind at 12-13% CAGR. At that rate, this sector will reach a total revenue of $379 billion by 2025.
Most growth in merchant services in the US will come from performance
solutions and commerce enablement.
In contrast, core transaction processing will lag at 8-10% CAGR. Balance-sheet-based offerings such as financing and deposit models will grow quickly at a CAGR of 14-16%. However, it will remain a relatively minor aspect of merchant services with a value of $84 billion by 2025.
Unsurprisingly, some of the more prominent banks have already started making inroads in the direction of diversifying their digital services. The statistics themselves show the huge sums of money that’s being poured into this area. Unfortunately, many smaller or niche financial service providers simply don’t have the capital to compete on a level playing field with these much larger organizations.
One way in which underdogs can level the playing field somewhat is by intelligently partnering with solutions providers. By finding the right partner, these businesses can unlock access to cutting-edge technologies and infrastructure in a way that’s both fast and cost-effective.
73% of banks cited "Digital Account Opening" as a "very important" area of focus in their fintech partnerships. Fintech partnerships are even playing a significant role in conventional services, such as payments (54%), lending and credit (52%), and fraud/risk management (38%). New banking products are also a significant area of cooperation, being very important to 27% of bank-fintech partnerships.
Top bank/fintech partnership areas of focus
(% of banks citing area of focus as “very important” to their fintech partnership strategies)
Clearly, most banks have recognized the value of partnering with fintech to extract maximum value from their digital service. Depending on your space, establishing these same kinds of partners will be vital to remaining competitive.
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How can Universell help banks
take this generational leap?
While the market landscape has shifted toward SaaS/Software-based services, virtually no growth has occurred in the banking industry. There's an opportunity to leverage the SaaS market for your growth strategy as a differentiating factor and competitive advantage.
Universell offers a BaaP (Banking as a Platform) solution to help financial service providers achieve these objectives. Universell enhances the functionality of a banking app or web portal by integrating its own extensive set of features with the existing system. Universell offers out-of-the-box capabilities, such as payments, marketing, business ops, etc. which can help small business customers of the bank grow and scale faster.
In effect, Universell serves as a 100% white label all-in-one Business Suite. By leveraging these built-in capabilities, banks can benefit in the following ways:
- Delivering next-generation banking experience to their customers through value-added services.
- Launch and coordinate multiple revenue streams with lower lead times and upfront capital investment.
Universell allows banks to seamlessly transition from a traditional banking model to a digitally transformed B2B market ecosystem. At the same time, Universell simplifies the management and operational costs by replacing multiple apps with a single, all-in-one solution.
The 3 new revenue streams to add today
with the help of Universell
1. Sell Universell Apps to your Customers
As mentioned, Universell represents an entire suite of banking-related business applications. When partnering with the Universell ecosystem, you can resell those apps to your customers or partners as value-added services.
Universell employs a revenue-sharing model for reselling apps that entitles partner banks to a 30% commission. Effectively, it enables banks to step into the SaaS market without spending years and huge budgets on R&D and technology investments.
Some of the available apps include:
- CRM & Contacts
- Email Marketing
- Employee Management & time-tracking
- Loyalty Programs & Rewards
- Payment Gateways & Online PoS
- Website Builder
- Inventory Management
- Reports & Analytics, etc.
For a full review of our features, you can visit the respective Features Pages:
Build beautiful websites, Run marketing campaigns, Reach more customers across all channels, and run loyalty programs to build fans for life.EXPLORE
Accept payment from any channel, up to zero credit card processing fees*. Virtual POS, Cryptocurrency and all your favorite cutting-edge payment solutions.EXPLORE
Never miss an order, or forget to update inventory, or lose track of deliveries. Manage employees, customers, documents, all from a single place.EXPLORE
Grow and Expand
Actionable and ready-to-implement insights bringing up to 10X higher revenue. We implement result-oriented strategies and measure success.EXPLORE GROW
Some of these apps can be used to provided value directly to the end-consumer. However, they can also be used target high-value SMB customers to strengthen partnerships and for both parties to get more value from those partnerships.
With apps on a monthly subscription model, this will give banks the ability to develop a reliable separate revenue stream. The CRM alone can replace 10+ popular business tools, including Gmail, Hubspot, and Hootsuite. However, the entire Universell suite can replace over 30 separate business applications.
Competing in different SaaS markets will lift your potential to capture overall market share and generate revenue. Not to mention the ability to attract high-value business customers with a more lucrative value proposition.
2. Payment Processing Revenue
Banks have yielded substantial ground to third-party payment processors and providers, such as Shopify, Stripe, etc. In fact, the payment processing market is expected to cap $248.97 billion by 2028, from US$ 90.88 billion in 2021, at a CAGR of 14.47% during 2022-2028.
Universell empowers banks to become their customers’ primary payment partners. The Universell payment suite is integrated into the payment window/gateway/PoS for data integration and functionality enhancement.
The payment suite can be integrated with any gateway of your choice. That also includes widely used gateways like Payeezy, authorize.net, CSG Forte, and custom payment gateways. Furthermore, PoS systems like Clover, PAX, and Poynt can be used for fully integrated in-store payment processing.
Consumers and digital service providers are increasingly willing to use cryptocurrencies for everyday transactions. 30% of crypto owners have used cryptocurrency for purchases, while 39% of consumers believe cryptocurrencies should be used for payments. And, 63% of merchants are now willing to accept crypto payments. This trend is likely to accelerate as the interest, adoption, and mainstream acceptance of crypto continues to rise. Expanding into the crypto payment market alone is estimated to have the potential to bring in 40% more customers.
However, many traditional financial institutions are still either intimidated or unsure of how to implement neo-payment solutions. On top of integrations with more conventional payment gateways, the Universell payment suite brings an entire cryptocurrency payment ecosystem for banks and their customers. This allows banks to offer fast, secure, and convenient gateways to process all kinds of transactions.
By expanding payment functionality, institutions will be able to capture more transactions by offering secure, convenient, and integrated payments. The result is higher revenue generation.
3. PoS Hardware Revenue
Businesses need seamless and fully-integrated hardware PoS capabilities to minimize the drag on their speed of business. And, in so doing, maximize the revenue potential of doing business in person.
Whether a bank already has payment processing systems in place or not, integrating with Universell can add value in many different ways.
Universell's hardware offering consists of multiple Secure POS terminals & gateways. The hardware runs the entire Universell suite of applications that supports real-time automation. In so doing, it offers seamless integration with connected services, such as inventory, accounting, finances, etc.
Universell's PoS hardware supports a variety of payment methods, including contactless cards, digital wallets, and cryptocurrency. Most consumers will be able to transact with confidence thanks to the range of convenient and trusted payment methods. The entire system is PCI and EMV compliant, so businesses can rest assured they conform to international fraud protection and security standards.
The PoS hardware is white-label, so there is no perception of a layer between banks and their customers.
Through a comprehensive API, it's possible to integrate existing systems with Universell and automate your bank's processes. Financial institutions can create additional revenue streams by developing custom products and integrations to add value to their services. For example, offering an exclusive web payment portal to priority customers.
What results can you expect?
Universell empowers financial institutions to preempt this drip-off effect by adding revenue-generating added-value services to their portfolio. To summarize, Universell will help banks compete and achieve higher levels of performance by:
Generating more revenue: Universell's ecosystem of business tools allows banks to compete across a larger spectrum of markets. Not only that but also to create additional revenue streams through profit sharing and new B2B or B2C services. By using all three revenue streams above, banks will also be able to unlock an additional $770 in LTV (lifetime value) from each customer.
Beating the Competition to Client Acquisition: By offering the same value-added services, banks will be able to capture a larger share of new customers. Banks we work with have reported a up to a 2,300% ROI by deploying Universell BaaP Technology and Services.
Selling Products that Stick: As we all know, customer retention is more profitable than acquisition. By selling products and services that add value to your client's banking activities, especially the high-value SMB ones, you'll keep them invested in your product while generating continuous revenue. That means higher retention rates and increased acquisition that lead to growth. Financial institutions that adopt Universell can expect a 20% improvement over current customer growth rates.
Universell redefines bank boundaries by taking a customer-centric approach to digital transformation. In short, it will revolutionize how your digital services work and how customers use them.
Universell is a ready-to-launch, end-to-end ecosystem that increases revenue generation by improving value for customers:
- Increased revenue from payment processing on customer websites and via online payments/transactions.
- Improve customer acquisition by adding new revenue streams via app sales and monthly subscription models.
- Growth through customer retention and acquisition thanks to mutually beneficial client relations and strengthening B2B partnerships.