Alviere Experts Series: Implementing a financial product

Embedded finance provides new sources of growth and revenue, and more firmly entrench brands with their customers. North stars like Walmart, Starbucks, and Uber serve as great examples, changing the question around offering financial products from "what?" to "how?" In this expert series interview, VP of Client Delivery, Carter Chandler, describes how Alviere client implementations start, adapt, and build a foundation for financial program success. 


Q: How does your team help companies through these new implementation processes that they may not have experienced in the past?

We fully understand that wading into the world of embedded finance and offering financial products to end consumers can be daunting if it's not something you've tackled before. The approach we take is consultative and educational. During an implementation, while we are plugging everything in and making  the solution work from a technical perspective, we're also having regular workshops with our experts on all the various topics a client should know about. Whether or not they're actually accountable for those things, it's still good to make sure that they understand what Alviere is doing behind the scenes to ensure the success of the program.

Examples like regulatory compliance, and does the program need certain terms and conditions? Considerations like do you have to present certain things to the end consumer? And the product or service as it relates to financial services specific to treasury management, so movement of funds from one place to the next. We'll walk through all of those things during the lifecycle of an implementation to ensure that our client is comfortable with everything.


Q: Let's talk implementation. How does your team help our new clients onboard and implement their program effectively?

There are two primary functions of a program. One is project management. Having a really senior experienced person on our side build the project plan and execute on that with the client. And really to balance the two most important things, one is speed to market, and the other is the accuracy and the precision of the solution itself. And those two things run in concert with each other.

The other piece is the expertise in solution architecture. Making sure that the client has the right expertise from us on the actual building, if it's technical in nature from API integrations and UX & UI design and build, to the regulatory aspects. Helping clients ensure that they've got the right terms and conditions and all other regulatory requirements are met.


Q: What do you see change most during those areas of a program as a new client comes onboard?

The area we see the most change is during the solutioning phase of the project. A lot of that happens at the very front end when we're working with a prospective client to understand what their needs are. They'll come and say, hey, we think X, Y, and Z from Alviere is what we need. And then we really start iterating with them and start asking questions and mapping things. At this point, we’ll say, “you're saying this, but we think we can solve it in a more efficient way by doing this one piece of it differently.”

The ultimate goal there is to get the most efficient, most cost-effective solution to whatever the challenge or the goal or the product that they're trying to build or solve for is.


Q: When you talk to someone about embedded finance what's your go to real-world example?

The biggest one is pointing out things that most people do in their day-to-day lives. Whether it's shopping or traveling, those kinds of things. There are financial products that a lot of these companies are delivering to you, whether you really even realize it. Whether it's travel and hospitality, if it's a co-branded debit card. Debit cards or credit cards are not core to selling more hotel rooms or more flights, but they offer a way to drive loyalty and provide a benefit, rewards and such to the customer. And that's really what embedded finance is. It's embedding those products that are financial in nature into somebody's core business.


Q: For companies who are exploring co-branded debit as a new product, what should they focus on during the solutioning and implementation stages before their end consumers see the product?

During the sales cycle, well before we ever kickoff a project and start building, our solutions folks will come in to understand the overall goal of the co-branded debit card program. Who is the intended audience? What geographies are they in? What are their purchasing habits, all those kinds of things. And then we'll start to map a product and solution to that. That really gets the juices flowing with product folks on the client side. And it really highlights some of the points where we'll start thinking about, okay, what is a potential minimally viable product approach to this?

Given consumer behavior and expectations, as an example, we may start with a virtual card offering and then offer a path to physical card products and start to map out the best solution and rollout plan.


Q: What is the ideal approach to launching a financial service product and bringing it to market?

In our experience, really the best way to do that is to talk through what is at the core of what you're trying to do, to see if there's an opportunity to start with just X instead of X, Y, and Z and launch that quickly, precisely, and accurately, and then learn from it. It's good product management. We've seen this many times, that approach allows you to learn from your customers and maybe you discover that, actually a certain percentage of them don't want X, Y, and Z. They really only need or want X or X and Y. And this gives you the opportunity to build a more flexible solution.


Q: Trust for the end customer is one of the biggest attributes of a successful new financial services program. How do you incorporate trust into everything that starts within the solution architecture all the way to implementation and a successful rollout?

It's working with the clients and building the trust with the clients throughout every phase of an implementation. And even during the sales process with the solution architecture work, through the contracting process, and then through implementation, if we can bring in the right expertise and the client trusts us that what's being built is being built and delivered correctly, then the program is going to work from day one. The product that the customer can see, touch, and feel is going to be the right product, and that's what's going to build trust with them.

Written by Alviere