Payset prespective
May 1, 2024

Money as a Service: How Does It Work?

Discover the latest trends and insights on money as a service. Explore innovative solutions and stay informed with our comprehensive guide.

Key Takeaways:

  • Money as a Service (MaaS) involves the delivery of financial infrastructure to non-bank companies, in turn integrating the technology with existing services
  • This provides end users with a variety of new financial services
  • MaaS promotes financial inclusion and freedom from traditional banking
  • Regulatory compliance and economic growth are key considerations
  • The Money as a Service sector could reach $46 billion by 2028


Money as a Service (MaaS) is one way of providing and accessing digital financial services.

MaaS involves the delivery of financial infrastructure to non-bank businesses, which in turn offer financial services to their own customers through an existing website or platform.

The term is related to Banking as a Service (BaaS), which similarly refers to the delivery of banking infrastructure to non-bank companies via an API. Sometimes, MaaS refers to a broader suite of digital financial services that fall outside of the scope of traditional banking, including but not limited to payments, remittances, and currency exchange.

Together, MaaS and BaaS allow for the provision of familiar financial services in a new way. These approaches do not simply exist outside the traditional banking sphere. Instead, they go beyond the limits of what was previously possible through new innovations.

We’ll examine MaaS in greater detail throughout this article.

Key Components of Money as a Service

Businesses can use MaaS services to provide a variety of common financial services, including payments, remittances, currency exchange, and digital wallets.

MaaS services also feature key components that underlie each application. Businesses often access MaaS services through an API, or Application Programming Interface, allowing the company to integrate the services with their existing online platform or website.

Often, MaaS services are cloud-based, meaning that businesses can use each service without providing much in the way of computing resources or administration. 

MaaS services are frequently modular, meaning that businesses can adopt only the services they need, or, if necessary, subscribe to a variety of services simultaneously.

Examples of MaaS Services

MaaS ultimately allows public-facing companies like fintech startups, e-commerce platforms, and other businesses to offer financial services to their customers.

One example of a MaaS service is Shopify. Alongside its well-known storefront service, the platform offers payment, lending, fundraising, and inventory and tracking tools to merchants.

Another example is Square. Though it is best known for its payments app and point-of-sale terminals, Square also offers additional features such as business loans, payroll management, and marketing tools that can be said to fall in the category of Money as a Service.  

Klarna is another notable example of MaaS. The service provides payment processing services, including "buy now, pay later" (BNPL) features. Businesses that integrate Klarna can do so either directly through an API or through other popular platforms.

Impact on Financial Inclusion

Because MaaS services are highly available, they have greatly expanded access to financial services among unbanked and underbanked populations. This sort of broad, open access is sometimes referred to as financial inclusion. 

In other words, Money as a Service tends to be available to individuals and businesses regardless of their wealth, net worth, or broader financial standing.

Latin America is one notable locus for financial inclusion. In countries like Argentina and Mexico, MaaS-powered digital wallet services are gaining popularity because they allow users to spend and save money even if they cannot access bank savings accounts.

Meanwhile, in the UK, small “challenger banks” that are in part powered by MaaS services have begun to offer traditional financial services — including but not limited to savings accounts, credit and loans, and credit cards. Once again, these services are highly accessible to UK citizens who might not be able to access traditional bank services. 

Economic Implications of MaaS

Money as a Service can contribute to economic growth in numerous ways. 

Because MaaS services are extremely convenient, and because competing services provide a variety of options, a rapidly expanding MaaS sector can attract money from customers. 

The same trend can also allow companies to bring in greater revenue and profits. Furthermore, the digital nature of Money as a Service means that growth in this area can promote online sales and business activities, thereby strengthening online commerce.

Growth in all areas, including MaaS, can contribute to a country or region’s broader economy.

Countries that experience growth also typically demonstrate greater financial stability. Naturally, regions that accommodate new financial technologies stand to benefit the most from MaaS.

Data-Based Outlook

Though little data is available on the size of the MaaS market, the BaaS market is on the rise, and its growth could coincide with progress in the MaaS sector. 

Data from Grand View Research suggests that the size of the BaaS market is surging. The global BaaS market was larger than $22 billion in 2022 and could see more than $74 billion in revenue in 2030, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.2%.

North America represents the largest market for BaaS, with a revenue share of 34.16% in 2021. The fastest growing markets are Southeast Asia and Oceania, including Australia.

Regulatory Considerations and Challenges

Though many countries and regions do not have regulations specifically aimed at Money as a Service, the sector is generally regulated under broader financial requirements.

All financial services must be authorised/licensed and comply with local and international financial regulations. Such regulations include but are not limited to KYC/AML regulations, privacy regulations, and rules aimed at digital financial services and non-bank companies.

Another consideration is the changing regulatory landscape. Governments continually change and revise laws and regulations in order to adapt to technological changes. 

This responsibility extends to companies: Money as a Service providers and companies that integrate MaaS services must keep up with rapid changes and comply with changing laws.

UK and EU Regulations

Though regulators rarely target MaaS directly, certain rules are particularly relevant. 

The European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and its upcoming third version set out rules and allowances for Payment Service Providers (PSPs) that fall outside of the usual banking system. If MaaS services fall in the category of PSPs, PSD2 rules may apply to them.

The UK has transposed PSD2 into its own laws in the form of The Payment Services Regulations 2017. The UK also has an open banking initiative, which aims to permit and encourage participation from a variety of new service providers.

The Evolution of Money Services

Banking has been a service for as long as currency has existed. 

Though the banking system has undergone countless changes over thousands of years, the implications for customers are clear. Until recently, businesses and the general public could typically access financial accounts and services only through traditional banks.

When the transition to digital banking began in the mid-20th century, traditional financial institutions dominated new innovations. Banks began to add mainframe computers starting in the 1950s, which largely were reserved for internal use for the next several decades. 

Just a few innovations reached customers. In the 1960s, banks began to offer ATMs. By the 1980s, early digital banking services were available via phone and videotex in some locations.

However, the advent of the internet in the 1990s marked the beginning of modern digital finance. Online banking continued to grow alongside the internet in the decades that followed.

Modern Digital Finance

Today, the widespread presence of digital finance allows for more financial services than ever before, including Money Service Businesses (MSB). 

MSB is a regulatory category that includes non-bank financial services. Though not all MSBs are online services, many companies in the category are in fact online.

Another related development is mobile money, a trend fuelled by the rise of smartphones circa 2008 and compatible digital wallets. Now, for the first time in history, individuals and businesses can send, spend, and accept funds through a variety of mobile services — even if they don’t have a direct membership with a bank or a major credit card network.

Banking as a Service (BaaS) and Money as a Service (MaaS) are related to these trends. They allow companies to provide open and digital financial services outside the confines of the traditional banking system, and they allow for integration with mobile and online platforms. 

Future Trends and Innovations in MaaS

MaaS can be integrated with other financial trends and innovations, many of which are cutting-edge and rarely seen within the traditional financial system.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

One emerging financial trend is cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency tokens and transactions are represented on public, transparent ledgers called blockchains. 

Because many blockchains are programmable, companies can build new services that may be considered a type of MaaS. Even companies that don’t build applications directly on-chain can route crypto transactions through firms that work closely with blockchain.

The popular crypto exchange Coinbase, for example, provides an API that allows merchants to accept cryptocurrency payments through its Coinbase Commerce service.

Though cryptocurrency services usually are not explicitly promoted as Money as a Service, certain services that provide crypto access in this way are similar to MaaS.

Artificial Intelligence

Another trend that may be relevant to MaaS is artificial intelligence (AI). AI has clear applications in finance, as it allows for user spending and activity recommendations, account management decisions, fraud prevention, compliance monitoring, and automated assistance.

The traditional banking system has not adopted AI thoroughly. But because AI services are typically offered online and can be accessed by developers, MaaS services and other digital financial companies might be first in line to adopt the technology.

Stripe, notably, has opened a partnership with ChatGPT creator OpenAI on various fronts. The two companies are working to integrate each others’ services mutually. OpenAI will use Stripe to power payments, while Stripe will add OpenAI’s services to its own products. Some of these efforts, such as streamlined ways to buy AI credits, will reach customers.

Once again, this partnership is not explicitly promoted as MaaS, but it is an example of non-bank companies exchanging modular and digital financial services.


Money as a Service is transformational for a variety of reasons. First, the technology is disruptive to the traditional banking industry, and it can help build new approaches to finance.

In addition to promoting economic growth and meeting regulatory requirements, MaaS can also connect to emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). Applications for MaaS are virtually limitless, bound only by the current state of the sector. 

Finally, MaaS is highly beneficial to users because it is financially inclusive. Financial services powered by MaaS are often accessible to users regardless of their situation. Companies offering their own financial services can also use MaaS services easily.

To learn more about Banking as a Service, read our guide on BaaS.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a multi-currency account/virtual IBAN?

A Payset multi-currency account allows you to receive money in 34 different currencies and send money in up to 38 currencies, all within the same account.

You can deposit and withdraw funds, convert currencies at competitive exchange rates, and hold your chosen currencies to capitalize on market movements.

A Payset multi-currency account allows startups and business owners to receive payments from clients virtually anywhere in the world and pay suppliers, staff, and contractors quickly and affordably in their chosen currency.

  • Funds can be deposited and withdrawn from the account for a small fee.
  • Account holders can send and receive money with other Payset users for free.
  • Depending on your region, you can use various payment networks from your Payset account, including SWIFT, SEPA, ACH, Fedwire, Faster Payments, BACS, and CHAPS. 
  • Once you register an account, you will be provided with a Virtual IBAN (International Bank Account Number), which makes all of these transfers easy.
  • We provide you with local payments and collections. For example, transactions in USD, EUR, CAD, and GBP are processed through the local payment networks, which is far cheaper and takes minutes as opposed to days

Are there limits on the amount of money I can send and receive?

No, there are no transaction limits on Payset multi-currency accounts.

However, higher-volume transactions may require additional anti-fraud verification. If you plan to make a large transaction, contact us in advance to avoid verification delays.

How is Payset regulated?

Payset is regulated as an authorized Electronic Money Institution by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Our activities are also regulated by the Payment Services Regulation 2017 and the Electronic Money Regulation 2011 (SI 2011/99).

How do I send money from my account?

Once you have opened your verified IBAN account and added money to a balance, transferring funds is simple.

Simply log in into your account and add a beneficiary, then simply “make a transfer” in your preferred currency to that beneficiary.

Information contained in this publication is provided for general education and information purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, investment or other professional advice or recommendation, or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions or any other actions (or refraining therefrom); This material has been prepared without taking into account any particular recipient’s financial objectives or situation. We make no warranty, guarantee or representation, whether express or implied, as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or fitness thereof for a particular purpose; Use of images and symbols is made for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or advice to take or refraining from any action; Use of brand logos does not necessarily imply a contractual relationship between us and the entities owning the logos, nor does it represent an endorsement of any such entity by Pay Set Limited, or vice versa; Market information is made available to you only as a service, and we do not endorse or approve it; Any reference to past performance, predicted returns, or likelihood performance scenarios may not reflect actual future performance and certainly do not guarantee future outcomes.

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