Embedded finance comes with dreams of seamless customer experiences, improved financial health for all and, let’s be honest, unicorns. Fact is we’re not there...yet. It’s still a space pervasive with buzzwords and lacking real embedded financial products meeting people where they live. This is changing as we’ve seen with our recent partnership with Squire.
Marcus Lobendahn, VP of Strategic Partnerships here at Bond is on a mission to change this dynamic. He spends more of his time “consulting” and helping brands think about where embedded financial products could fit into their ecosystem. He strives to go beyond the basics — beyond “just another debit card” and into adding real value and solving real problems for Americans of all stripes.
Throughout our conversation with Marcus, we picked up three key takeaways.
Great People Come From Anywhere and Everywhere
This isn’t a new takeaway in our travels through Interchange; great people can come from any walk of life, any life of study, and any neighborhood. World changing talent is everywhere. Marcus himself went to BYU Hawaii and, after spending time with a professor who had a history in the finance realm, he decided that was the direction he wanted to steer his life.
He made it, but it was an uphill battle at times. “I missed the memo that you’re not supposed to work at Goldman if you come from one of these tiny schools,” stated Marcus. After diving into the world of finance, he found the promised land of fintech building partnerships on the banking side of the table with some of the larger fintech startups of the day.
Patience, Young Padawan
If you’re in “fintech” you probably spend a lot of time talking about, you know, “fintech.” And "fintech stuff."
Marcus sees a future beyond classic fintech, as it were. He sees past “the next Lending Club and is more interested in how Adidas gets a Buy Now Pay Later product out there for the drop of the new Yeezys.” (Marcus is also our resident Sneakerhead, if you didn’t know already.) Bringing financial products seamlessly into the brands we know and love is the future Marcus dreams of. Yes, he actually dreams of embedding financial products into sneaker brands far and wide. He might be a nerd. It’s possible.
Finance has the potential to delight, amaze, and add value to the lives of every human on earth, but…patience, Young Padawan.
The Right Product, Not The Easiest Product
If everything is fintech and every brand is going to be a fintech, then they have to start somewhere, right? One thing Marcus notices as he speaks with brands large and small is the “they did it so we should do it, too,” mentality.
As VP of Strategic Partnerships, one thing he spends a lot of his time on is advising — advising to ensure that the brand is choosing. to embed the right product for their customers. If the end-user generally has a thin credit file, then rolling out a credit card right off the bat probably won’t work so great. On the other hand, if the end users generally have good credit and plenty of savings, then rolling out small dollar lending wouldn’t make much sense either.
If you’re not sure what would benefit your end-users the most or if you’re not sure where to start, reach out — Marcus would love to hear from you! Email him at email@example.com if you want to brainstorm on how embedding financial products could benefit your business.