5 questions to app owner – Maciej Krasowski, Fizen
About Maciej Krasowski and his app
Maciej Krasowski is CEO of Fizen, an open banking technology – the “one-stop shop” financial integrator. They connect bank APIs and external service providers.
Using Fizen saves time and resources and eliminates burdens related to integrations with banks. It is a promising startup that raised over $500,000 in the seed round.
Here, Maciej shares the challenges and problems he faced while building and developing his product, as well as some tips.
What was the biggest challenge during app development and what helped you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was getting the license first. We had to contact the regulator with the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, and the whole process was complicated and required an application of about 200 pages. Fortunately, after 5 months, we managed to achieve it quite quickly.
The second challenge was talking to the banks. Banks are not all favorable to such integrators, because in their opinion, as I assume, it is letting innovative competition into their field. This is slowly starting to change, especially outside of Poland.
Besides, everything runs smoothly. Now we focus the most on selling.
Consistency in action helped us overcome these challenges. Building relationships also helped. It was time-consuming, but it was worth it.
In retrospect, what changes would you make to your product development process if you had to do it again?
Today, we are very quick to integrate with banks in Central and Eastern Europe, and in Poland, we are very efficient at integrating a second license (PIS).
We learned during development that testers play a big role in speeding things up. Most of the work in terms of checking connections and arranging the structure of API calls is transferred to the development team in the form of a properly set queue of requests.
Before that, we did it while coding. Today, thanks to testers, this process is much more efficient.
What makes you choose these features to be implemented in your product and how do you prioritize them in the roadmap?
We set priorities by looking at the market needs. We study the needs of clients, what they are looking for and what they would find useful.
We have a broader strategy written down to build Fizen and we know which direction we are going, but what exactly we will be doing along the way is defined by the market.
We want our product to be tailored to the target group.
Fizen was launched in 2021. What do you consider your most significant milestones?
The first and most important milestone was obtaining an AISP license.
The next one was a closed investment round (PLN 2.5 million).
The third is obtaining a second PIS license, which allows us to connect with 13 banks (which covers 95% of the market) and thanks to this it is an awesome product to sell along with our second product.
Another is the AIS service in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This showed us that we can do business abroad and gave us great potential for further growth and product development.
How do you promote your app?
Part of the budget is spent on appearing in the media. On the other hand, I participate a lot in events as a speaker, panelist, member of the program board, and this is how I usually promote the product.
We also filmed 3 webinars where we talked with various experts about traditional finance, open finance, cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
We spent a lot of time perfecting our website, which we treat as a business card.
The next stage will be testing outreach marketing, i.e. finding potential clients (personas) and presenting our offer or a partnership proposal (very personalized direct contact, with a strategic approach, not spam).
By the way, I've never done a product venture before, only a service-based one. Selling a product looks completely different. In services, it can be focused on their type and it is enough to look for clients who need them. In a product, much more depends on what the market needs and whether we offer such features.
In conclusion, here are 5 lessons learned from Maciej’s experience:
- Consistency and building relationships are crucial in business.
- Software testers play a big role in speeding things up.
- Look at the market needs. Make your product tailored to the target group.
- Appear in media and participate in events and other wide-reaching activities to spread the word about your product.
- Selling products looks completely different from selling services. You need to be more focused on the needs of the market and offer relevant features.