"So this is what a SaaS conference looks like", I said to myself.
Excited SaaS vendors and professionals dedicated to the progress of the industry and ready to share their knowledge with everyone in attendance.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is possibly one of the most popular options for companies in search of new and innovative ways to operate their business. It’s also a fast growing model for software distribution. But as SaaS grows, so do their challenges and needs.
This year I got the opportunity to attend the SaaS Open conference in New York as a representative of Bond Financial Technologies. Bond has been associated with SaaS for some time now, but this would be my first time meeting with the community. My plan: to learn as much as I could about SaaS concerns and priorities and get a clearer understanding of how Bond can help.
Here are 5 Software-as-a-Service trends that can be achieved by partnering with Banking-as-a-Service:
One of the first things I noticed was the continued growth of Vertical SaaS. Unlike what might be called ‘Horizontal SaaS’ which offers software for customers in any industry, Vertical SaaS is a lot more flexible and tends to target customers within specific industries.
This is a great model as companies within specific industries get to benefit from the specialization and customizability of vertical SaaS as well as the cost benefits.
So how can Bond help?
Bond’s commercial card products can offer vertical SaaS companies increased customer intelligence via transaction data. This industry specific customer data can play a significant role in gaining and leveraging customer-focused insights.
But the benefits don’t stop at data. By working with Bond to issue customized card solutions, vertical SaaS providers have a crucial opportunity to differentiate themselves from the pack. In 2023 and beyond, there will be an ever-increasing number of providers and customers of vertical SaaS companies will demand an even higher standard of offering. Card solutions are a great way to offer added value to customers that demand it.
Increased focus on retention
With uncertain economic times ahead, many SaaS companies are shifting their attention on ways to offer additional value to existing customers in a bid to increase retention and reduce churn.
This means that SaaS businesses have to find cost effective ways to add value for their users. Most will focus on new features and functionality, but the smart ones will recognize that there is a huge area in which value can be offered - payments.
Embedding financial solutions such as cards and digital wallets into your platform allows SaaS companies to deepen the relationship with their customers. Payments integrations have been known to add a level of stickiness that is extraordinarily valuable with a focus on retention.
White labeling has emerged as a way for Software-as-a-Service platforms to grow and expand. White labeling is best described as a process where a software company creates a fully developed and tested platform and then sells it to another company who can customize it and brand it. This white labeling process has allowed companies to distribute their solutions to customers with less technical experience.
Bond saw this trend a while ago and decided to apply it to some of our own products. So for SaaS companies that want to launch card programs but don’t want to divert or distract their technical resources with building the necessary technology, Bond’s white label offers are a great option.
With the framework for a card solution being virtually brand-plug-and-play, SaaS companies can focus on their value proposition, strategy, and branding rather than having to build from scratch. Having less code to write means that technical staff can spend more time innovating your core product. Furthermore, a white label product allows companies to test and iterate quickly and at a much reduced cost and in a fraction of the time.
The fourth trend is about data. Many customers look to SaaS platforms to provide ways to streamline their organization while gaining a deeper insight into their customers or users. It is expected that analytics will become a central component of almost every service-based software platform, making BI and data-driven decisions all the more powerful for anyone looking to get ahead of the competition.
Many SaaS companies have been able to capture and utilize usage data on their platforms, but most do not have access to transaction data. Whether it’s your own transaction data or that of your customers, embedding card and wallet based payment solutions will give you access to this.
Many of the SaaS companies I spoke to were interested in getting more insight into where their customers were spending and how much they were spending in these areas. They all agreed that they could use this data to identify early trends, streamline their own businesses or provide it to their customers as an added layer of business intelligence.
Definitely a trend across all industries including SaaS is a renewed focus on cost efficiency. SaaS companies often struggle with the challenge of maintaining a satisfactory customer experience while also keeping expenses under control. This requires them to explore methods for cost optimization that don't undermine the quality or functionality of their products.
To achieve this goal, businesses must strive to streamline their processes and adopt cost-effective solutions to minimize overhead costs. One area often overlooked for cost control is transaction costs. By utilizing account-to-account systems and digital wallets, Bond can help SaaS companies save up to 80% on their transaction costs. All while also providing a better customer experience.
Overall, SaaS companies are looking to continuously improve their offering so that they can attract new customers, keep the customers they already have, get users to spend more and to stay ahead of the competition.
For most SaaS companies, this means new features and updates. It should also mean looking at how they can leverage Banking-as-a-Service offerings. Most SaaS companies were surprised when I told them how Bond could help with their priorities, so I expect to see more SaaS companies partner with BaaS companies like Bond to continue to grow and succeed.