Launching an MVP - Get to Market and Generate Revenue Fast
Getting to market with any product can be a time-intensive and costly process, particularly for companies interested in offering embedded financial services by working directly with a bank.
The process can take years. For startups and small to midsized businesses with fewer resources and less financial cushion, it can be a make-or-break undertaking.
And at a time when the threat of a looming recession has caused companies both small and large to cut back on spending and reduce labor costs, speed to market can be crucial to long-term success.
Businesses should strongly consider launching a minimum viable product (MVP) instead of extending their timelines and their spending to launch a fully featured product. An MVP gets to market sooner, which means revenue also gets made sooner — and it gives businesses the runway to continue development on additional product offerings.
To watch our on-demand webinar on how to launch an MVP with Q & A, download it now.
The benefits of launching an MVP
Speed to market is a competitive edge. However, depending on the specific embedded financial products a fintech or enterprise wants to launch, that speed to market can vary greatly.
“In a perfect world, if a fintech has everything in order, we could get them up and running with ACH, wires, and bank accounts in as little as two weeks,” Treasury Prime Director of Technical Program Management Kiana Pourjanfeshan explains. “For a product offering like a digital wallet, we’d expect at least three months to launch.”
The disparity between the two timelines is largely due to dependencies on third parties. Digital wallets require input from card networks as well as providers like Google and Apple. Correspondence can often take weeks at a time — weeks that the fintech is spending money on labor and not generating revenue.
For product offerings like ACH, wires, bank accounts, and even debit cards, it’s a more straightforward process that hinges more on how quickly the embedded finance company can complete the needed implementation tasks.
Pourjanfeshan recommends that any fintech or enterprise that wants to get to market as soon as possible be on top of their bank’s due diligence and compliance process, are responsive to any asks from their bank and embedded banking provider, and are proactive about understanding the various requirements for specific product launches. For instance, Pourjanfeshan mentioned that fintechs can often slow their own progress by not understanding the various design requirements that go into standing up a physical card program.
Ultimately, fintechs and enterprises that are looking to cut costs, get to market fast, and begin generating revenue as early as possible have the power to do so simply by staggering their individual product and service offerings. With an embedded banking provider like Treasury Prime, the process of getting to market is even easier thanks to team members guiding the entire workflow.
Consider the adage “Perfection is the enemy of progress.”
While many businesses may balk at the idea of launching what they consider to be an “incomplete” product, an MVP can actually be an effective market research tool.
For example, a fintech’s original platform may have included a virtual card program with a companion digital wallet. With an embedded banking partner like Treasury Prime, the virtual card program could be launched in a matter of weeks, while the digital wallet could take three to four times as long.
By launching with just a virtual card program tied to individual bank accounts through its bank partner, the fintech may find that its users actually don’t need or want a digital wallet.
Instead of going through a costly process of building the digital wallet with no product on the market, the fintech is able to make money and avoid spending any extra time or funds on developing a product that may be lower priority based on customer research. That way the fintech can get customers to start using its products quickly while continuing to build out the product offering.
Understanding how to build & launch an MVP
According to Pourjanfeshan, while launching an MVP has many benefits, it is important that startups think strategically about how they deploy their MVP.
Fintechs should deeply consider what is at the center of their business model and what core capabilities would enable customers to use their product at the most basic — and functional — level. For vertical SaaS companies that target specific industries, they’ll likely find that a core offering of ACH, wires, and bank accounts is enough.
First Dollar, a Treasury Prime customer, initially launched with account creation, physical debit cards, and ACH and wires. After establishing its footing, the health wallet startup then stood up a virtual cards program in partnership with Treasury Prime.
Different products will have different immediate outcomes for fintechs and it is up to them to decide which outcomes are the highest priority to them before innovating on other products and services. For a vertical SaaS company like Fractional, the ability for its users to easily open accounts and store and transfer money is much more important than offering a white label debit card. Conversely, a transaction-based fintech that relies on interchange revenue may be less concerned with offering specific payment rails or digital wallets at the onset.
Fintechs that understand what is foundational to their product can save themselves a significant amount of recurring expenses, Pourjanfeshan advises. Some products, such as cards, can often require a monthly fee for holding onto BINs whether or not they’re actively being used.
How to launch an MVP?
Fintechs and enterprises each have their own specific business models and should find an embedded banking partner that is flexible enough to accommodate their unique needs.
Typical banking as a service providers normally charge a blanket fee to their fintechs, no matter what products and services the fintech is taking to market.
Treasury Prime’s offering is modular, meaning that fintechs can choose to launch various embedded financial services on their terms. As mentioned, Treasury Prime can get an enterprise to market with ACH, wires, bank accounts, and cards in weeks. And when fintechs are at a stage when they are ready to scale their offerings, Treasury Prime has an industry-leading network of bank partners for them to work with. Through Treasury Prime’s latest offering, OneKey Banking, fintechs are able to access different services and products from various banks via an intuitive and easy-to-use all-in-one platform. Launching and managing of services between multiple banks means fintechs can innovate more quickly and streamline their own internal workstreams.
To learn more about how we can help you launch your MVP, watch our on-demand MVP webinar with Q & A.
Wondering how embedded banking could help your business? Contact Treasury Prime — we have a true multi-bank network, the deepest bank core integrations, and extensive compliance experience. Read more about our $40 million Series C Funding and why Tearsheet named us the Best Banking as a Service company for the second year in a row. Talk to the best embedded finance team in the industry.