Build, Buy, Partner vs. Check

June 21, 2023
Check Team

Check Team

Payroll is a lot like electricity or gas or water. It’s a utility – a service that every company needs, but few ever spend a lot of time thinking about until they have to.

Because of the ongoing necessity of payroll, many SaaS platforms have added a payroll offering to strengthen their platform and increase customer retention.

Traditionally, there were three approaches you could take:

  1. build the payroll product yourself;
  2. buy an existing payroll business; or
  3. partner with a third-party provider.

With these three approaches come pros and cons. Anyone building a new product is hoping for full control over it, low cost, and quick implementation. Unfortunately, those objectives are difficult to achieve with these traditional options.


If you choose to build the product yourself, you have complete control and a completely custom solution. Your team is responsible from start to finish. But the costs of this undertaking often outweigh the benefits. Not only could it cost millions of dollars and take years to complete, but the actual building is only the start. A custom-built solution involves constant maintenance and potentially bringing on a team to run your payroll operations to help keep you compliant. It’s a risky, resource-intensive, time-consuming venture with no real guarantee of success.


Buying an existing payroll company to integrate into your platform comes with a whole set of different challenges. There are often high costs associated with acquiring an existing payroll company. Additionally, you may deal with legacy code that needs to be refactored so that it can effectively integrate into your existing platform. You tend to have less control over the product because it is already built and in the end, this approach may not really save much money. It might save you some time, but at the cost of a flexible, unique product. Plus, you may have the same costs of maintaining and running payroll as you would with building.


When you partner with a third-party provider, you create a portal into your existing platform to connect your customers with a legacy payroll provider. You’re not able to customize the payroll product to your customer’s needs and you're beholden to your payroll providers. With a third-party provider, you may only receive a fraction of the revenue and receive no control in return. You’re outsourcing the entire payroll experience to another company and sending your customers outside of your platform. It might be the lowest cost of the three options, but most likely does not add a substantial revenue stream and it isn’t a true addition to your platform.

Any one of these approaches can work, but with significant compromise.

That’s why Check invented embedded payroll.

The Check platform offers the best of all three approaches. It enables you to have a complete custom solution with a lower cost, a quicker implementation, and an ongoing revenue stream.

The Check payroll solution can stitch seamlessly into your existing platform either by building directly on top of the Check API or by leveraging prebuilt, customizable Check components. You don’t need to worry about money movement, tax forms, or payroll complexities. Check manages payroll so you can focus on what you do best.

Embedded payroll is a way of strengthening your current offering by adding a vital service and in a way that is less cost and resource intensive, but that you fully control. You are building your own payroll business within your platform, not attaching another company’s product to yours. 

Payroll is a complicated, but necessary, service and it can differentiate platforms. Before Check, companies either had to compromise one way or another. Now, there is a solution that combines the best of all the options and uniquely serves you. 

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