Adyen Beyond Payments – Embedded Finance Playbook

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Payment processors had an incredible run during the pandemic, riding the wave of increased adoption of digital payments among merchants and consumers alike.

But now, they’re on the lookout for the next big thing to keep the momentum going. And guess what? They’ve hit the jackpot with Embedded Finance, and they’re going all-in on this trend.

Embedded Finance enables payment processors to tap into their client base, which primarily consists of platforms and marketplaces serving small and medium businesses (SMBs), and unlock fresh revenue streams for both themselves and their clients. It’s a win-win situation that promises exciting growth opportunities for everyone involved.

WhiteSight-Adyen Beyond Payments - Embedded Finance Playbook

In our recent report, we took a deep dive into Stripe’s Embedded Finance playbook. Now, it’s time to shift our focus across the pond and shine the spotlight on another payment giant – Adyen! The Dutch payments company Adyen has emerged as a prominent player by seamlessly integrating financial products into its payment platform. With 27 global offices, $9.4B revenue, and $8.3B assets, Adyen has emerged as a payments powerhouse for enterprises, mid-market firms and platforms serving SMBs.

Adyen’s bold leap into embedded finance

Unlocking the power of unified commerce and digital payments for global enterprises, Adyen has evolved from its humble beginnings in 2006 to expand its scope and scale. In 2016, it introduced Adyen for Platforms (AfP) which enabled platforms to seamlessly embed payments into their offerings for SMBs, transcending sales channels and geographical barriers. 

But Adyen didn’t stop there. Recognizing the growing demand for greater control over payouts, the company broadened the scope of AfP to add Adyen Issuing (2019), expanding the embedded suite by enabling platforms to issue virtual and physical cards to their SMB customers.

Acknowledging the diverse financial needs of SMBs, Adyen enhanced AfP even further in 2022 with Adyen Capital and Adyen Accounts. Capital allows platforms to proactively offer business financing based on payment data, while Accounts grants instant access to store and manage funds. 

Adyen seems to be well on its way to becoming an ultimate provider of embedded financial services. Their single integration includes payments, issuing, capital, and accounts, empowering platforms with unparalleled control and customization options to serve their SMB clients.

When it comes to embedded finance, both Adyen and Stripe offer impressive solutions that draw significant parallels, as shown in Infog 1. But their respective approaches to delivering embedded finance are a bit nuanced. Unlike Stripe, which relies on niche licenses and partnerships with sponsor banks, Adyen takes a different approach. In addition to their acquiring licenses, they have obtained EU banking and US branch license, developed their own tech stack, and maintained their own balance sheet, creating a full-stack model. Adyen’s full-stack model provides them with greater control and flexibility to expand their embedded finance suite in both the EU and the US.

Embedded finance for platforms and marketplaces

Adyen has long positioned itself as an enterprise-focused payments solution, catering primarily to large international merchants in retail, technology, hospitality, and e-commerce. ​​To expand its target addressable market, Adyen has ventured into serving mid-market businesses. However, their most significant achievement lies in actively targeting platforms and marketplaces through AfP, enabling them to reach and serve a wide range of SMBs. By developing embedded finance products and testing them with select beta customers, Adyen maintains its agility while expanding and enabling efficient decision-making as it scales up.

Stripe, on the other hand, has carved its niche as a developer-centric platform, growing alongside the startups it has long served. While maintaining its support for creators, SaaS providers, and retail and e-commerce businesses, Stripe has also successfully ventured into serving global enterprises and bigtech companies. 

Stripe and Adyen initially had different starting points – Stripe focused on startups and SMBs, while Adyen catered to large enterprises. However, they now find themselves converging in the middle, vying for SMBs and mid-market businesses. In this battleground for SMBs, both Stripe and Adyen are leveraging their most powerful weapon – Embedded Finance! And both seem to be placing their bets on platforms and marketplaces as the preferred channels to effectively serve the SMB market at scale.

Driving the Future of Embedded Finance: Adyen and Stripe 

Both Adyen and Stripe are making bold moves in the realm of Embedded Finance, each with their unique approaches. By leveraging its full-stack model and focusing on platforms and marketplaces, Adyen is poised to provide seamless and comprehensive financial solutions to SMBs at scale. Stripe’s expertise in serving startups and SMBs for a long time offers a significant advantage. 

Together, these players have the potential to propel Embedded Finance to new heights of success by driving widespread adoption across businesses of all shapes and sizes globally.


Senior Branding Associate

Kshitija is a senior branding associate at WhiteSight, crafting branding strategies and fintech content. When she's not conjuring up new ideas for the company, you can find her dabbling in new hobbies and documenting her experiences through writing and short films.

Founder & CEO | sanjeev@whitesight.net

Sanjeev is a fintech aficionado who loves to explore the depths of the industry as much as he loves to explore the depths of the ocean in his scuba gear. He is the founder and CEO at WhiteSight, bringing a wealth of research and advisory experience to the fintech world.

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