Embedded payments can transform the way business is done. Here co-CEOs of Enfuce, Denise Johansson and Monika Liikamaa, tell us why they believe it’s time for this fintech innovation to get full credit and explain how diversity can drive the industry forward
Fintech is traditionally dominated by men, but Enfuce leads the way with two female co-CEOs. How is diversity moving the industry forward?
It’s all about having role models. For those growing up today, you want to see that, as a female, you can be a bank CEO or head a financial start-up or challenger. But it’s bigger than that too; it’s about delivering diversity of all kinds. The mindset should be anyone can become anything. Monika and I, as female founders in finance, want to support and encourage everyone and show there are no limitations. By encouraging and ensuring diversity among fintech leaders from all different backgrounds and different parts of the world, you gain diversity of thinking to create new services that solve new problems across the industry.
Why are embedded payments so important?
Anyone who generates transactions at some level will need to use embedded payments if they want to provide a great service in the future. Funds move directly between the two parties digitally without needing a plastic card. The service provider can either choose to give the transaction insight and revenue to other third parties, or take this opportunity to own their transaction flows and reduce the fees they pay.
What problems will embedded payments go on to solve?
Mobility is a growing area. For example, a single app could allow tourists to access all the various payment methods and apps now needed to travel in cities on trains, tubes, metros, and buses – or to pay for electric charging and parking spaces if in a car. Embedded payments would link into all these individual services and users then pay from one place via top-up credit.
What are the key challenges right now for embedded payments?
This technology is now a hot topic within fintech; it’s not a buzzword. As more digital services are developed, this method offers a user-friendly, accessible, and attractive proposition for transacting. Originally fintech was just expense management and lending and then came the digital banks. Now we have the likes of mobility, crypto, and payroll tech, plus many more emerging verticals, and those working within these might not have an extensive background in the traditional financial industry. If embedded payment technology is the right direction for them, partnering with a service provider might be the better option rather than developing this area themselves.
How do you see embedded payments developing over the next five years?
Sustainability will have a huge influence. We are going to own less and rent more, from cars to clothes, and embedded payments will be central to pay for those services quickly and easily. This method is also becoming vital within developing countries where populations are skipping the traditional evolution from cash to plastic payment cards. They are moving straight to digital wallets and embedded payments because as telco infrastructure improves, more apps are launched, and digital embedded payments become the norm.
What advice do you have for business leaders looking to adopt embedded payments?
It is important to work with a company who puts your business goals at the centre of any suggested solution. Usability is what it’s all about; reducing the clicks to make a payment, and most companies won’t have the dedicated knowledge or technical skills. It is also critical to ensure all payments are compliant with local and international laws and regulations to protect the business and its end users. A trusted partner has this expertise, allowing leaders to stick to their core business and not need to be experts themselves.
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