Satu Kiiski

Satu Kiiski

Vice-President Consulting Services

“As-a-service” banking models are hot topics that hold great potential for both banks and technology providers. However, they can be easily confused. What are the differences between “banking-as-a-service,” “banking-as-a-platform” and “banking-platform-as-a-service”? Before discussing these business models, it’s important for everyone around the table to be clear about their distinctions. In this blog, I explain each to help banks better evaluate their unique advantages. However, the definitions continue to evolve as use cases mature.


In a banking-as-a-service business model, a bank offers basic products and services (e.g., payments or cards) to another type of service provider—typically a fintech or an ERP system provider. The provider then embeds those basic banking services within its own service offerings.

An example of a banking-as-a-service model is a fintech that offers a savings account or a credit card through its personal financial management app. In this model, the fintech doesn’t have to build and maintain the required banking infrastructure nor obtain the required banking license.

By exporting its products or services to the fintech, the bank, in turn, can take advantage of a new delivery channel.

The time is right for banks and technology providers to figure out banking-as-a-service use cases. Taking advantage of open banking concepts via this approach will improve the customer experience, increase efficiency, and create new business opportunities.


With rising customer expectations, banks need to improve their services continually to remain competitive. Banking-as-a-platform is one solution to this challenge, enabling a bank to enhance its existing services by embedding capabilities (technology or services) from another service provider.

One example of CGI’s banking as a platform work is our collaboration with Ordo, a fintech focused on leveraging open banking to deliver a better payments experience. Ordo gives banks the opportunity to offer their corporate customers a modern method for receiving payments—request-to-pay—on a white label basis.

Banks and technology providers can work together to find services that are best for customers while, at the same time, considering what is best for their own businesses in terms of strategy, growth and risk management.


The third business model is banking-platform-as-a-service. The main objective of this model is to find the most optimal way for a bank to offer core banking services like payments, cards and loans.

Especially for payments, maintaining systems and processes has become extremely costly for many banks because of the constant flow of new regulatory requirements, changes in technology, increasing demand for access to payments, and heightening customer expectations.

Banking-platform-as-a-service addresses these market demands and investment challenges by making complete platforms available in an “X-as-a-service” model. In effect, this is a modern take on outsourcing that provides banks the services they need in a more cost-effective manner. For example, CGI’s modern payment platform, CGI All Payments, is delivered under a payment-platform-as-a-service arrangement. With CGI All Payments, banks benefit from an effective solution for keeping up with the latest regulations and innovations in the payments space.

‘As-a-service’ enables new business opportunities

New business models can be complex and their names loosely defined. However, as explored in this blog, these three banking models provide banks a great deal of flexibility in broadening or outsourcing their offerings, depending on their business goals. With a clear understanding of each as-a-service models, your bank can more effectively choose the best option for driving transformation, performance and growth.  

If you’d like to discuss these models further, feel free to contact me.

About this author

Satu Kiiski

Satu Kiiski

Vice-President Consulting Services

With nearly 20 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry, Satu delivers strategic business consulting and innovative technology to help banks improve operational efficiencies, enhance the customer experience, and increase revenues.