Banking & insurance: 3 good reasons to open e B2B marletplace
We recently explained how marketplaces are driving the circular economy. But the model is also providing a boost in more traditional and infinitely more regulated sectors, such as banking and insurance. If you work in these industries, you know that intermediation plays a key role when it comes to reaching customers. By opening a marketplace, you can take advantage of this intermediary role, rather than leaving it to others.
1. The starting point: selling banking products
Let’s start with a statistic: 47% of French people say they are ready to use a platform to compare and sign up for financial products and services offered by different banks (CGI/Next Content study, February 2020).
There is an increasingly extensive product offering, including for professionals (as with compte-pro.com, for instance). However, this type of site can undoubtedly be considered to be a marketplace: the comparison between banks is just a step, or even a pretext, before a contract is concluded. Yet it’s not operated by a bank or an insurance company. That’s a pity, isn’t it?
The marketplace model is particularly interesting, given that banks have developed their offering to provide non-banking services to their customers: telephone services, accounting services, HR management software, etc.
2. Leveraging the ecosystem: the “banking as a service” approach
In this scenario, banks rely on other players: they refer their customers to a selection of partners with whom they share data.
This is how Shine, an online bank for professionals, expanded its product range with leasing, insurance products, a marketing and web solution, a physical payment device and management and accounting services. The aim? To check all of its clients’ boxes to meet all their needs.
This value proposition has been driven by regulatory developments in 2009 and 2018: both existing banking players and start-ups (FinTech and RegTech) have started to share their data. This explains the “banking as a service” (BaaS) approach: thanks to the Cloud and APIs, this approach makes it possible to bring new banking services to market and, most importantly, include services from other financial chain operators in new product offerings.
A banking product offering can include the accounting or real estate services of a specialist editor partner.
Other players, who have nothing to do with banks, have seized this opportunity, as we have seen with Darty Pro: in addition to its real estate department and its corporate incentive department, it also puts professional clients in touch with banks.
3. Becoming a retailer: an example from the medical industry
The approach can be pursued further: some banks have opened a marketplace to sell expensive products (requiring maintenance or replacement) to a B2B market, before offering a credit or leasing plan. This is how they attract new customers and seek out new markets. Liz&Med, managed by FranFinance, a subsidiary of the Société Générale Group, is an impressive example of this. “Find the medical equipment you need in a few clicks and rent or lease it. With a fixed monthly price, there are no nasty surprises when it comes to your budget. And you’re free to include additional services, such as maintenance or insurance,” the site explains.
When taking payment, the platform offers insurance and financing, as Darty or Fnac could do with a B2C market. In this way, the bank maximizes the various benefits of this system: it sells a medical product that’s available on the marketplace thanks to its partners, a loan and even related services. The bank plays the role of a facilitator.
Once you adapt the B2B marketplace model to banking and insurance, there are unlimited possibilities. All products are potentially impacted. By building bridges between the worlds of retail and finance, you can broaden your target and your market (revenue diversification), all while offering payment options that will encourage purchases!
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