Tuesday, July 16, 2024

5 questions with … Lia Cao

5 questions with … Lia Cao

Lia Cao, global head of embedded finance and solutions at J.P. Morgan Payments, is focused on meeting consumers where they want to be met through integrated banking services.  

“Consumer demand is driving significant interest in embedded banking and alternative payment methods,” Cao told Bank Automation News. 

To keep up with demand, J.P. Morgan Payments offers solutions that offer API connections and simplified digital onboarding processes, she said. 

Lia Cao, global head of embedded finance and solutions, J.P. Morgan Payments        Courtesy/JPMorgan

In an interview with BAN, Cao discussed embedded finance adoption and how her team approaches innovation. What follows is an edited version of that conversation:

Bank Automation News: Where does the industry stand on the adoption of embedded banking? 

Lia Cao: There is a lot of momentum. Over the years, we’ve witnessed a growing number of clients seeking to digitize their ecosystem and monetize the transaction flows through it, but without the resources needed to be successful, most struggle to do it alone. 

Businesses across industries are embracing embedded banking as they realize its potential to create seamless and sticky customer experiences natively within their platforms, simplify financial processes and generate additional revenue streams. Witnessing this shift toward more integrated and seamless financial solutions is exciting, and it’s only getting started. 

BAN: Why is embedded banking an essential piece of the payments ecosystem? 

LC: Embedded banking is the glue that binds the payments ecosystem together. It allows businesses to offer a full suite of financial services directly within their platforms, making transactions more frictionless and convenient for all parties.  

Today, merchants and platforms are embracing the marketplace business model, aiming to offer a seamless experience for their small and medium-sized business customers. They want to streamline processes like onboarding, accepting payments, managing cash flow and making payments, all within their own platform. Embedded banking solutions empower clients to achieve this unified experience, transforming the way businesses interact with financial services so they can focus on the consumer. 

BAN: What technology is your team working on in the embedded finance space? 

LC: We continue advancing embedded banking solutions that create exceptional experiences for all parties. These solutions encompass cutting-edge APIs to partially or fully hosted portals and simplified digital onboarding processes designed specifically for small and medium-sized customers. We’re also seeing increased demand for user-friendly Demand Deposit Account setups being tailored to meet the requirements of embedded payments. With our differentiated approach, we’re reshaping the landscape of embedded banking, driving efficiency, and fostering growth for our clients. 

As our clients’ commerce needs evolve, there’s a growing demand for integrating comprehensive financial services directly into their ecosystems. 

From banking services to more sophisticated offerings like insights and fraud prevention, clients seek end-to-end solutions. Our Embedded Banking and Solutions team addresses these evolving needs through a software-as-a-service offering that delivers agile and innovative solutions for merchants. 

BAN: Where is the embedded finance industry headed overall? 

LC: We’re heading toward deeper collaboration and innovation. Banks, fintechs and non-banking platforms are coming together to develop solutions catering to the evolving needs of businesses and consumers. It’s an exciting journey as we pave the way for more accessible and tailored financial services. 

BAN: How would you describe your approach to innovation? How is that reflected in your tech innovation pipeline? 

LC: It is core to everything we do. Every company says that, but our success to date backs that statement. While fostering a culture of collaboration among our development and engineering teams, we are also constantly exploring new technologies and methodologies to ensure we stay ahead of the curve for our clients as the digitalization of the payments ecosystem continues to evolve at an exponential pace. 

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