Mar 28, 2024

How to build a marketplace for financial services

Creating an online platform for financial services presents a promising business prospect. If you are contemplating building such a website, this guide is for you. Explore the reasons and methods behind constructing a marketplace for financial services here.

What is a marketplace for financial services?

Online marketplaces for financial services are platforms that connect individuals or businesses with various financial service providers.

These marketplaces offer a wide range of services, such as loans, insurance, investment opportunities, and financial advice. Users can compare different providers, their offerings, and rates to make informed decisions. These platforms often provide a streamlined application process, allowing users to apply for financial products online easily.

Online marketplaces for financial services aim to provide consumers convenience, transparency, and choice in their financial decision-making process.

In recent years, these marketplaces have become increasingly popular, representing about 7.2% of the U.S. GDP, with top platforms like Opendoor, LendingClub, and RobinHood having gained significant traction in the rapidly growing financial sector.

The market size of the financial services sector has also grown strongly from $31.1 trillion in 2023  to $33.5 trillion in 2024, and is expected to hit $44.9 trillion by 2033.

Why build a website for financial services?

As technology and digital services become an indispensable part of our everyday lives, with millions of customers moving towards digital experiences, the financial industry has faced so many changes. Providers of financial services are left with no choice but to think outside the box to suit the needs of customers.

Creating an online financial marketplace platform is a great idea and a smart move to make for the success of your business, as online marketplaces have been found to hit milestones more quickly than traditional companies due to the potential they have for unlimited growth and expansion.

The global financial services market was valued at $25.51 trillion in 2022 and is expected to grow and surpass $58.69 trillion by 2031, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 9.7% during the forecast period of 2023--2033.

The financial services market is an interesting place for an aspiring founder, with financial services constituting nearly 24% of the global economy. Online marketplaces have a great opportunity in this niche because they can create a win-win-win situation for all sides: the sellers, the buyers, and the marketplace owner.

Let's take a look at some of the benefits for each side.

What are the benefits for buyers?

Buyers in the marketplace for financial services gain access to a wide range of service providers, allowing them to compare and choose the best options for their specific needs.

They can easily browse through different offerings, compare prices, and read reviews from other buyers to make informed decisions. The marketplace provides a convenient and efficient platform for buyers to find and engage with trusted financial service providers.

What are the benefits for sellers?

Sellers in the marketplace for financial services can reach a larger audience and expand their customer base. They have the opportunity to showcase their expertise, services, and competitive pricing to a targeted group of buyers actively seeking financial solutions.

By being a part of the marketplace, sellers can increase their visibility, credibility, and ultimately, their revenue. The platform also offers tools and resources to streamline its operations and manage customer interactions effectively.

What are the benefits for the marketplace owner?

The marketplace owner benefits from facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers, earning a commission or fee for each successful transaction. As the platform grows, the owner can attract more sellers, increasing the range and quality of services available to buyers to choose from.

Additionally, the marketplace owner can gather valuable data and insights on buyer preferences and market trends, which can be leveraged to improve the platform, enhance user experience, and drive further growth.

Successful marketplaces for financial services

Here are a few thriving online marketplaces exclusively focused on financial services.

Analyzing these platforms can provide valuable insights into the market and assist you in finding your path within it.

  1. eToro: eToro is a popular marketplace for financial services that allows users to trade stocks, cryptocurrencies, and other assets. It also offers social trading features, allowing users to copy the trades of successful investors.

  2. Robinhood: Robinhood is a commission-free trading platform that offers a marketplace for financial services. Users can buy and sell stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies, as well as access market data and research tools.

  3. LendingClub: LendingClub is an online marketplace that connects borrowers with investors. It allows individuals and small businesses to obtain personal loans, business loans, and auto refinancing loans from a network of investors.

  4. Fidelity Investments: Fidelity Investments is a well-known financial services company that offers a marketplace for a wide range of investment products. It provides access to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other investment options.

  5. Zopa: Zopa is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that connects borrowers with lenders. It is an online marketplace where individuals can lend money to others in return for interest. This platform aims at providing lower interest rates compared to traditional banks while allowing lenders to earn attractive returns on their investments.

What features are required to create an online financial marketplace platform?

The most important functionality of a marketplace for financial services is to provide a platform where users can easily compare and access a wide range of financial products and services from different providers. This includes features such as:

  1. Product Comparison: The marketplace should allow users to compare various financial products, such as loans, credit cards, insurance policies, investment options, etc. This helps users make informed decisions based on their specific needs and preferences.

  2. Provider Selection: The marketplace should offer a diverse range of financial service providers, allowing users to choose from different banks, insurance companies, investment firms, etc. This ensures competition and helps users find the best provider that suits their requirements.

  3. Transparent Information: The marketplace should provide clear and transparent information about the products and services offered, including fees, interest rates, terms and conditions, eligibility criteria, etc. This helps users understand the offerings and make well-informed decisions.

  4. User Reviews and Ratings: The marketplace should incorporate user reviews and ratings for different providers and products. This allows users to benefit from the experiences of others and make more reliable choices.

  5. Seamless Application Process: The marketplace should facilitate a smooth and hassle-free application process for financial products. This may include online application forms, document uploads, and integration with the providers' systems for quick processing.

  6. Security and Privacy: The marketplace should prioritize the security and privacy of users' personal and financial information. This includes implementing strong data protection measures, including things like encryption, firewalls, and access controls to prevent unauthorized access, and complying with relevant regulations.

  7. Customer Support: The marketplace should offer reliable customer support channels, such as live chat, email, or phone, to assist users with any queries or issues they may encounter during their financial journey.

Overall, the most important functionality of a marketplace for financial services is to empower users with the ability to easily compare, access, and manage a wide range of financial products and services while ensuring transparency, security, and convenience.

What are the options & costs of developing a website for financial services?

Costs of building from scratch

Creating an online financial marketplace platform from scratch can be a complex and costly endeavor.

The costs involved can vary depending on various factors, such as the scale of the marketplace, the features and functionalities required, and the technology stack chosen.

Some of the major cost components include:

  1. Development Costs: This includes the cost of hiring a development team or outsourcing the development work. The complexity of the marketplace and the number of features required will impact the development costs.

  2. Infrastructure Costs: Building a marketplace requires a strong foundation in terms of infrastructure---robust infrastructure to handle user traffic, data storage, and security. It is important to consider the costs associated with servers, hosting, and cloud services, as they are essential components of running a marketplace smoothly.

  3. Third-Party Integrations: Financial services marketplaces often require integration with various third-party services, such as payment gateways, identity verification providers, and financial data providers. The costs of these integrations can vary depending on the providers chosen.

  4. Compliance and Regulatory Costs: Financial services are subject to strict regulations and compliance requirements. Developing a website that adheres to these regulations may require additional resources and expertise, which can add to the overall costs.

  5. Maintenance and Support Costs: Once the marketplace is built, ongoing maintenance, bug fixes, and support will be necessary. These costs should be factored in for the long-term sustainability of the marketplace.

It is important to note that the costs mentioned above are just estimates and can vary significantly based on the specific requirements of the marketplace. It is advisable to consult with experts and conduct a thorough analysis before embarking on building a marketplace for financial services from scratch.

Alternative options for constructing a marketplace for financial services

Developing a marketplace for financial services from scratch is a substantial and costly endeavor. However, nowadays, there are numerous methods to construct a marketplace that do not necessitate a significant budget.

The option you should select depends on:

  • The features you believe your marketplace requires

  • Your technical abilities (or abilities you possess in your team)

  • Your budget

  • The available time.

The various methods to construct a marketplace are:

  • Utilizing WordPress and plugins

  • Building on top of open-source software

  • Utilizing a combination of no-code tools

  • Utilizing a dedicated no-code marketplace SaaS tool

  • Developing on top of an API-based marketplace SaaS tool

In addition to your limitations in terms of abilities and budget, you should also consider the speed of learning. Launching your platform for financial services rapidly means you begin to learn about your audience quickly. These lessons assist you in developing the type of platform that users adore more than any other existing solution.

Sharetribe's marketplace software was developed with this iterative learning process in mind.

First, we assist you in launching a platform for financial services in one day without any coding. Use the two-week-long free trial of Sharetribe's Build plan to get your marketplace ready fast. When you're happy with your marketplace, you can subscribe to go live.

After you've launched, you get to learn what kinds of additional features and functionality your platform needs to serve your audience. You may want to completely change the design and workflow, integrate a multitude of third-party services, or build a mobile app.

With Sharetribe, you can easily custom-code all these changes and much more, either by yourself or with assistance from our Expert partners.

At Sharetribe, we've been constructing marketplaces for over a decade. Our experience and expertise are at your disposal through our content resources, which you can access and utilize regardless of how you decide to construct your platform.

Best of luck with your website for financial services!

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