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Europe Leads in BaaS Activity: BaaS Report 2019

MEDICI and Open Financial Technologies together released an in-depth 40+ page report on Banking-as-a-Service on October 11, 2019, at the Singapore FinTech Festival. The report offers the first-ever comprehensive overview of the impact and pace at which this concept is driving disruptive change. The report has been receiving terrific feedback, as well as appreciation from industry leaders.

In the report, we discuss Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS), an end-to-end process where third parties – FinTech, non-FinTech, developers, etc. – can access and execute financial services capabilities without having to develop them organically. We also explore the various aspects of BaaS in detail: its history, operational models, drivers, and current global traction. However, in this article, we focus on BaaS players and their presence across different geographies.

The above illustration indicates that most of the activity in the BaaS ecosystem is taking place in Europe. The primary reason for this can be attributed to Open Banking regulations and the inclination of traditional banks and third parties to build business and revenue models around compliance.

The illustration also highlights a few prominent banks, such as BBVA, Deutsche Bank, and Starling Bank in Europe; Citi, JPMorgan, and Capital One in the Americas; and DBS, HSBC, Commonwealth Bank, Emirates NBD, and CBW Bank in Asia-Pacific, which have taken a lead in the adoption of Open Banking. Banks have now started to open their APIs for third-party developers after they realized the importance of APIs in the future of banking.

Due to recent regulatory changes, Europe also boasts the highest number of white-label platforms. A few prominent platforms in the region include Figo, Fidor Bank, solarisBank, Railbank, and Bankable. Banks with licenses in the area and neobanks that have partnered with licensed banks are now adopting Banking-as-a-Service models and are generating revenues through this model. 

The Americas region is also witnessing activity in these areas primarily from FinTechs (Marqeta, BankMobile, Cambr, The Bankcorp, and Cambr) that are developing offerings across banking functions. 

Conclusion

The Banking-as-a-Service report provides a deep-dive into various aspects: history, regulatory triggers & implications, the strategic importance of the model to banks, market activity, prominent BaaS players, challenges, and critical success factors. The data gathered and analyzed for creating this report shows that the BaaS model delivers clear synergies to all the parties involved and is increasingly becoming a sought-after business and revenue model for banks as well as FinTech firms.

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