Voice of the Industry

The Paypers Global Fintech Partnerships Analysis: Q4 2022

Wednesday 15 February 2023 10:00 CET | Editor: Andra Constantinovici | Voice of the industry

The Paypers researched and analysed the most important partnerships that defined and built resilience in the fintech space in Q4 2022, from Open Banking, through A2A, embedded finance, and all the strategic decisioning in between.


We recently analysed  the visible decrease in M&A activity as 2022 drew to a close after a prolific three quarters. The slight shortage in mergers and acquisitions seemed, however, to be palpably linked to a rise in volume when it came to partnerships and strategic agreements.

Acquiring or forming alliances can bring about similar results for a company as a merger or an acquisition, from access to new services, tech, or talent to new markets or customers. However, as a comprehensive PwC explainer argues, an acquisition tends to be more expensive than a partnership, and it's important to evaluate the post-deal value of each option to determine if the cost of full control is worth it compared to the cost of collaboration.

A partnership offers benefits such as the ability to gain access to new regions or markets, pursue specific capabilities, and maintain an ongoing relationship without committing to a merger or acquisition. This approach can also be preferable when the target's products and services do not provide independent value when combined with the acquirer's capabilities system. Ultimately, it’s important to consider that leveraging each other's capabilities separately in a partnership can unlock new synergies and create value without assuming the risks involved in a merger or acquisition. That’s outside of the fact that a partnership can be a more manageable way to gain access to a market leader or highly reputable target in a less predictable financial landscape.

This is where the recession comes in. The last quarter of 2022 has been a telling exercise in determining how 2023 will unfold for the payments and fintech ecosystem from several angles. As Edgar, Dunn & Company  experts forecasted in November 2022, in the UK and US, the recession is expected to persist for several quarters, most likely across 2023 and into 2024. However, the exact length of the recession is difficult to predict as it depends on various unpredictable factors such as global political instability and economic volatility. This is why payment and fintech leaders must have a flexible approach to planning for the post-recession period. They should assess the impact of different potential market outcomes on their strategic goals and be prepared for any surprises.

In the following analysis, The Paypers set out to take a closer look at some of the most notable partnerships that cemented the path to understanding where the banking and fintech market will be heading in terms of trends, resilience, and growth strategies in 2023. Here are some of the themes we identified by looking at the whole picture:

  • Open Banking in practice – key deals

  • Account-to-Account payments

  • Banks as the gateway for fintech resilience

  • Increased demand for embedded finance

  • Relevant use-cases: Finastra and Tink

As shown in The Paypers’ Open Finance Report 2022, Open Banking continues to evolve and define the paradigm through which the relationship between banks, fintechs, retailers, and end-consumers is defined. Financial institutions have access to a borrower's financial history through their bank transactions, allowing them to gauge creditworthiness more accurately. A2A payments have experienced tremendous growth, sparking interest in the industry for new payment options for both consumers and merchants. As a trend that took off in 2022 and continues to grow visibly into the year’s closing, major banks have also begun implementing Variable Recurring Payments, and practical use cases of embedded finance are more popular than ever.

Open Banking in practice – key deals

One example at hand for how Open Banking has penetrated newer and newer verticals is Yapily and Certua’s  life insurance partnership. Using Yapily’s platform, with the customer’s consent, Certua can fetch individual bank account information such as annual income and expenses to automatically assess a person’s financial position. Certua then feeds this information into its Open Banking powered cover calculator to provide more accurate and personalised insurance policy recommendations. Individuals can receive point-in-time recommendations in minutes, without having to engage with lengthy data gathering and advice processes when applying for life insurance cover.

Veterans in the field, American data network Plaid partnered with British tech and management consultancy Capco, a Wipro company, to drive Open Finance adoption. The partnership seeks to combine Plaid’s Open Finance solutions with Capco’s domain and data analytics expertise to allow financial institutions the potential to access and enable the value of Oopen Ffinance across the banking sector, while reportedly making data more secure and accessible for consumers.

An important use-case when it came to Open Finance has been B2B lending. As explained by Rolands Mesters, Nordigen's CEO, for The Paypers, ‘Open Banking allows alternative lenders to connect directly to bank accounts to source necessary information. While being convenient, this procedure also allows lenders to access the most accurate, up-to-date information possible, which is often not the case when relying on credit bureaus that may hold outdated data. By using Open Banking data, alternative lenders can consider SMEs and thin-file individuals, provide more personalised services and products, and perform enhanced identity and income verification processes.’ 


Notable efforts were made by Klarna’s financial technology platform for banks, fintechs, and retailers, Klarna Kosma, which announced its partnership with Krea, a Swedish digital loans platform for SMEs. Krea facilitated more small business loan approvals after plugging into Klarna, with more than 20,000 loan offers being submitted to SMEs in 2022.

Compliance was another key space where Open Banking unlocked doors otherwise quite hard to nudge open. In October, 2022, British financial app Curve set out to find a partner to help them meet Open Banking compliance and regulatory requirements of both the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the Bank of Lithuania (BoL). To achieve this, Curve decided to start working with Salt Edge, a trusted provider offering a solution that includes a set of APIs, a TPP access verification system, a strong customer authentication app, a consent management system, and more.

In line with a mandate from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s nine largest banks have begun rolling out variable recurring payments (VRP) APIs. Multiple fintechs followed suit in 2022, such as GoCardless, Yapily, or Plaid  (launching the feature on their platforms less than a week apart in the summer of 2022). The wave of announcements in this sense continued in Q4, with Token announcing an agreement with NatWest  Group in a bid to offer VRP for non-sweeping services. Token already offered, at the time, VRP capabilities for sweeping, the automatic transfer of money between two accounts belonging to the same person, across several UK banks. According to news released in October, Token’s VRP features could be applied to existing use cases like credit card repayments, as well as to help consumers minimise overdraft fees and maximise interest on savings.


Plaid, Klarna Kosma, Yapily, Certua, Salt Edge, Curve partnerships fintech and banking


Account-to-Account payments

Without having comprehensively measured data for 2022 yet, we can cite McKinsey accounting for A2A payments rising to 29% of global payments revenue in 2021. A2A payments and their future in the ecommerce payments value chain has been a touchy subject – especially when it comes to accurately attempting to wager on its potential subversive nature in the world of card schemes and just generally complicated payment infrastructure. This, however, did not stop companies from placing their faith and growth strategies in this potentiality. A couple of notable partnerships setting the tone in Q4 2022 are:


Token, Natwest, Computop, Plaid Nuapay, Cardstream fintech partnerships

As 2023 promises streamlined real-time payments services such as FedNow in the US to become viable, numerous voices in the industry predict that A2A will gain visible traction in the consumer payments global market. In the end, the fate of direct bank transfers in ecommerce payments will be as strong and as accessible as the local instant payments system they need to plug into.

Banks as the gateway for fintech resilience

In Q4 2022, we’ve noticed a special category of partnerships between fintechs and ‘big name’ banks – all centering around extending the banking product portfolios. Now, in any other circumstance, the picture would be crystal clear: the ‘age-old’ conversation around incumbents needing to take their heads out of the sand and invest in current and flexible technologies to meet market demand and keep up with the leanness brought in by neobanks.

In the current economic climate, however, one cannot help but think that these partnership announcements (or similar ones in the same vein) might prove salutary for some of these fintechs as well – prone to the same vulnerabilities as any other startup or veteran looking to build solid runways and provisioning strategies for a looming recession.

As a continuation of the A2A conversation, in October 2022, Bank of America delivered Pay by Bank  for euro currency payments in conjunction with UK-based fintech Banked. Another relevant partnership within the US banking community is BankiFi and progressive financial institution Axiom Bank joining forces to enable US SMEs to better track and manage their business finances using BankiFi’s embedded banking services.

Across the pond, Starling Bank partnered with Settld, an end-of-life admin service, to simplify account administration for those who handle the affairs of a customer who passed away. Lloyds Bank has signed a deal with Billhop to help the bank offer a B2B payment solution to its clients, that simplifies paying their suppliers using the bank’s commercial cards.

Spanish banking group Santander focused its strategy on offering companies across various industries the option to transition from legacy mainframe systems to cloud tech with Google Cloud, while Deutsche Bank and Fiserv launched Vert, a payment acceptance and banking services provider for SMEs.


Bank of America, Settld, Santander, Starling Bank, Lloyds, Deutsche Bank fintech partnerships

These are just some examples, of course, but, regardless of the strategic quid pro quo, they speak volumes of banks wanting to listen intently, now more than ever, to their customers’ needs and expectations.

Increased demand for embedded finance

The use of embedded finance in B2B scenarios is experiencing rapid growth, as companies seek simple, efficient ways to accelerate receivables and ensure transactions. 2022 saw a growth spurt in partnerships between big brands and embedded payments enablers in a bid to offer both convenience and financial inclusion to their SME clients.

US-based payments platform Square, for instance, partnered with American Express in November 2022 to launch a new credit card built for Square sellers on the American Express network. In the same vein, after a partnership signed in the same month, German fintech Moss now uses Klarna’s Open Banking platform, Klarna Kosma, to gain access to its customers with increased speed and accuracy. This allows Moss to onboard new customers more quickly and provide credit products much more accurately. Klarna Kosma also announced, at the time, its plan to accelerate Moss’s international expansion to new markets.


Square, Railsr, Plaid, Raising, Clearbank, American Express partnerships fintech

Embedded finance has gained popularity with so much speed also since it constitutes a strong means for neobanks to scale and grow through Banking-as-a-Service. Fintech Raisin has announced the migration of its UK platform to ClearBank, a clearing and embedded banking provider for financial institutions, in October 2022. ClearBank now underpins the FSCS-protected account used by Raisin UK customers for managing money that they wish to deposit in saving products on the platform offered by Raisin’s partner banks. ClearBank’s cloud-based API also enables customers to benefit from a ‘Confirmation of Payee’, which comes with an additional protection layer when customers transfer funds into their accounts. 

In November 2022, Railsr (former Railsbank) continued its journey to becoming one of the house names in the embedded finance niche. Railsr teamed with fraud and financial crime prevention enabler Featurespace to combine its own fraud teams focused on card and payment fraud prevention and anti-money laundering solutions with Featurespace's ARIC Risk Hub. Featurespace’s fraud and AML (FRAML) solution is said to provide a single integration point, enabling Railsr’s platform to grow in line with business expansion and maintain regulatory compliance.

After a slew of partnerships announced throughout 2022, Railsr ended November with another client on its roster, namely Everi, with whom the fintech started working to allow land-based casinos to interact with their clients off-site via a branded retail credit card that includes rewards and perks.

UK’s KodiPay came together with Dutch payments platform Adyen, a partnership that builds upon existing work between the two firms following the trial of a QR code system launched in October 2021. This time, Adyen’s financial technology will support the growth of British hospitality businesses by managing financing and loan application, adapting payment methods to local requirements, and offering advanced data analytics.

In the Nordics, Swedish fintech Zimpler allowed merchants to access its A2A payment solution through the automation platform Primer. At the same time, across Europe and into the MENA region, Pakistani embedded finance platform Neem joined hands with BPC to develop its embedded finance technology stack.

Embedded banking solutions provider BankiFi partnered with Open Finance company MX to enable secure data sharing and account connectivity for businesses using BankiFi’s platform. Still focused on lending and other similar SME financing banking products, this connection enables American SMEs to securely connect their bank accounts within the BankiFi Open Cash Management platform to gain perspective over their financial data. SMEs are now granted an overview of their accounts receivable and payment activity, as well as a centralised platform to view operating accounts.


Adyen,, Zimpler, Neem, Bankifi, MX, BPC, Primer, Volt, Kryptomat fintech partnerships

Driven by the force of innovation and the developments of Open Banking and Open Finance on one hand, and the increasingly prevalent need for financial inclusion and alternative payments and financing options on the other hand, embedded finance is the natural response to market-wide demand and technological possibility.

An interesting story regarding partnerships in the embedded finance space is Open Banking provider Volt integrating with crypto exchange platform Kriptomat to launch real-time account-to-account (A2A) payments for cryptocurrencies.

Following this partnership, Kriptomat will enable near-instant speed transactions, enabling its customer to buy, sell, and exchange cryptocurrencies in real-time, thus aiming to remove barriers for more than 500,000 users in trading over 340 cryptocurrencies, as stated by Volt representatives in November. 

Relevant use-cases: Finastra and Tink 

In our research, there are a couple of names that especially stood out when looking at the big picture from afar:

Finastra is a British financial software application and marketplace-provider that provides solutions and services across lending, payments, treasury and capital markets, and universal banking (digital, retail, and commercial banking), aiming to help banks support direct banking relationships and grow through channels such as embedded finance and Banking-as-a-Service. 

Q4 2022 was prolific in its expansion strategy and continued previous similar engagements. As October debuted, Finastra integrated Contour’s to Fusion Trade Innovation software to augment the processing of Letter of Credit transactions for banks. As explained at the time, the two companies will further accelerate the adoption of digital trade solutions by linking together the two key components of digital trade finance – a deeply integrated core banking platform for internal processes, and an external decentralised network for bank and corporate customer communication. 

Finastra subsequently announced its association with corporate-to-bank integration fintech AccessPay to simplify traditional corporate banking host-to-host connections and deliver corporate-to-bank connectivity.

The fintech delved into BNPL with a partnership with Jifiti. Financial institutions are enabled through Jifiti’s white-labelled platform to embed financing or split pay offerings in an easy manner at any merchant’s point-of-sale at scale, be that online, in-store, or via a call centre. Financial institutions working with Finastra to power core banking capabilities benefit from having Jifiti’s platform pre-integrated with Finastra’s systems; the cloud deployment is available via Finastra’s FusionFabric.cloud open development platform. The former already benefits from considerable popularity already (worth mentioning another partnership with Veem in order for the AR and AP network for SMBs to plug into Finastra’s platform).

Moreover, in the same quarter, the company expanded its services across banks in Africa and several Indian subcontinental markets via Modefin.


Finastra, Tink, Adyen, Jifiti, Contour, Snoop fintech partnerships

Another fintech that stands as a telling example of how the market embraced embedded finance is the Open Banking platform Tink. Dutch fintech platform Adyen partnered with Tink in early October in a deal that sees Tink’s technology embedded into Adyen’s single platform, enabling Adyen customers to offer Open Banking payments to consumers.

Adyen thus uses Tink’s payment initiation technology to enable businesses to access A2A payments. The integration launched first in the UK, with plans to expand to multiple markets in 2023.

Apart from an integration wtith financial management app Snoop to offer customers personalised insights into how they can cut on their bills, grow savings, and pay their debt, the Open Banking platform also signed an agreement with loan broker Sambla Group  to offer lenders access to more accurate affordability assessments. Sambla Group incorporated Tink’s full risk product suite, which includes services such as Income Check, Risk Insights, and Expense Check. Consequently, lenders using the Sambla Group network are able to access real-time data in order to obtain faster and more accurate affordability assessments.


The beginning of 2023 is clearly a time to continue following not just the expansion and strategic placement of these key names in the fintech industry, but also a time to reflect on how the current economic climate will affect strategic decisioning further on. A recent survey shows that almost nine in ten fintechs consider partnerships to be crucially important to their business, up from 49% in 2019. 

Lending and access to funds, efficient product development across verticals and technologies, and accessible integrations will continue to drive strategic partnerships into Q1 2023. 

Stay tuned for our upcoming Global Investments Analysis and Global Payments and Commerce Partnerships Analysis, next week on The Paypers. 

About Alexandra Constantinovici

Alexandra is News Team Lead at The Paypers. A passionate writer, Alexandra has an extensive background in journalism – as a graduate of Journalism and Communication studies –, as well as editing, publishing, and marketing. She coordinates the news coverage at The Paypers and, together with the team of editors, she strives to bring forward the latest trends for our readers, while investigating and sharing with our community the upcoming innovative industry shifts.

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Keywords: fintech, embedded finance, embedded payments, Open Banking, account-to-account payment, partnership, The Paypers Quarterly Analysis series
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech