We headed to NYC last week for LendIt 2022 (Fintech Nexus), one of New York’s largest Fintech events. New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike were happy to be back at an in-person event, with excitement (and tech pitches) filling the air.
Everything from sand sculptures with financial hashtags, to lively debates on what qualifies as a “bear market” took over the voluminous space at Javits Center. And of course, the common players of block-chain, crypto, and Defi made their usual buzz-wordy appearances, but so did some frank discussions about embedded finance, VC funding, and the Solopreneur who is looking for a financial foothold.
Here’s our breakdown of major industry trends we picked up on at LendIt 2022:
Trend #1: BNPL set to break through or stumble onto the B2B landscape
Buy Now Pay Later also drew notable buzz at the event. With 82% of SMBs failing because they can’t successfully manage their cash flow, it’s no surprise that BNPL has entered the B2B arena. Many event attendees were trying to figure out how to capitalize on a BNPL market that did over $5.1B in the consumer world for 2021 alone.
Lots of speakers covered the complex and far-reaching idea of BNPL for business, but most fell short of demonstrating a clear pathway to adoption (or showcasing the tech to make it happen).
At this point, most BNPL companies are getting traction from origination (giving away money to whoever applies), but remain limited in their ability to run instant decisioning for underwriting. Automating their underwriting process will drive efficiency gains and ensure lower default rates.
What’s also clear is that to make BNPL integrations successful… in addition to the tech needed to breach the B2B market, additional cash flow visibility (and not just access to cash) will be required.
Trend #2: Momentum for Embedded finance keeps getting stronger
From SMB loans to insurance….leveraging embedded finance to increase customer value continues to be a hot topic on everyone’s mind.
Common themes included the need for education around what it means to be an embedded company, the inherent risks, and the need to prevent fraud. A key point of emphasis? Finding the right partner who can provide the infrastructure for protection, accuracy, and speed.
Lendflow’s very own Jon Fry sat on a panel covering, “Which financial services should be embedded” where they highlighted the virtuous cycle Fintechs and vertical SaaS companies can create by embedding several products such as payments, BNPL, and loans in a holistic way.
The group also examined the opportunities moving forward for reducing friction… and enhancing workflows to create an exceptional user experience for customers.
The session rounded out by looking ahead… with the panelists reinforcing the need to build and launch products quickly for true innovation. After all, the only way to make real inroads when developing and scaling tech is to meet customer demand for convenience and speed.
Trend #3: For small-to-medium business owners, liquidity and cash flow visibility remain huge obstacles to progress
If new revenue streams are the lifeblood of long-term success, many SMBs — as long as they maintain limited access to liquidity and cash flow visibility — will continue to struggle to capitalize on new growth opportunities. The pervasive feeling at the conference was that SMBs continue to be underserved and underfunded in a market that’s ripe for disruption.
The good news? Those disruptions have arrived, with the launch of Lendflow’s groundbreaking Credit Decisioning Engine at LendIt 2022 opening up new pathways to capital for qualified SMBs through embedded lending. As forward-looking SMBs prepare for the economic rebound that will soon follow this recession, companies that embed financial services will be the best positioned to serve the SMB market.
Overall it was an amazing conference! We learned a ton, met some really great potential partners, and brought back some fresh ideas for our tech platform.
Our next stop on the conference circuit will be Lend360 in September. If you’re in Chicago, or at the event, please stop by our booth to say hi!