Voice of the Industry

How Poles overcame 4 common challenges of every fintech in the world

Tuesday 18 October 2022 09:19 CET | Editor: Claudia Pincovski | Voice of the industry

As users are turning more and more towards super apps, Piotr Jan Pietrzak, BLIK, explains why there’s a need for simpler experiences and how fintechs can adapt.

Do you remember the buzz-worthy phrase – ‘There's an app for that’? In 2009, the slogan was used by Apple to advertise a major advantage over its smartphone rivals, adding up to more than 250 000 apps for the iPhone, more than any competitor at that time. The phrase gave birth to ‘app for that’ jokes with many ridiculous ones such as ‘If you just murdered your friend and need to find the nearest city dump, there’s an app for that.’

Fast-forward a decade after ‘there's an app for that’ and instead of having multiple apps, many users turned towards super apps, challenging the multi-app model. Super apps have evolved into a single tool where multi-functionality is seamlessly integrated. WeChat (China), Paytm (India), Grab (Southeast Asia), and Rappi (Colombia) to name a few successful ones. And yes, you will find the most notable players in fintech and outside Europe.

Poland might not have developed a super app (yet), but we have several super banking apps. The magic behind those apps is the wide range of services under your fingertips. An example is the mobile payment system BLIK, which overcame many fintech challenges by integrating services into existing mobile banking apps instead of building yet another app for that (payments). By creating an embedded solution BLIK avoided many problems of the new fintech players.

1. Simple registration of new users

Every fintech and challenger bank promises an easy way to open an account and start using the service. Thanks to the pandemic and shutdowns, traditional banks have also shifted towards remote account opening. No matter if it’s a challenger or an incumbent, registration is often a lengthy process, with time-consuming authentication, and difficulties in filling out forms. Once happily registered, who wants to go through this process again in another app? Nobody! Having BLIK embedded into already existing apps, users don’t need to register to use BLIK. It’s just there, ready to use, and you don’t need to register all over again.

As users are turning more and more towards super apps, Piotr Jan Pietrzak, BLIK, explains why there’s a need for simpler experiences and how fintechs can adapt.


2. Quick onboarding to a new interface

Similar to promises of seamless registration into a new service, fintech’s bargaining chip was a modern user interface. For an already complex service like daily finance, navigating, and operating on a non-user-friendly interface left many users frustrated. Fintech set new trends in designing financial apps. It didn’t take long for traditional banking apps to catch-up with trending UX approaches and deliver interfaces that are complete, useful, and nice to look at. BLIK knows how to create great user interfaces, but why force users to learn yet another navigation method? By being a seamless part of existing apps, using BLIK is as familiar as any other functionality of users’ already known banking app.

As users are turning more and more towards super apps, Piotr Jan Pietrzak, BLIK, explains why there’s a need for simpler experiences and how fintechs can adapt.


3. Creating an acceptance network

To make your business grow, you need to work hard to attract both sellers and buyers. But how to attract buyers when there are no sellers, and vice versa? The same applies to fintech, mostly in the payments domain. Years ago, the battle was already over as to whether it was the cards or the terminals that needed to be introduced first. To avoid a similar fate, BLIK uses an already existing acceptance network. In terms of online acquisition, the key is to partner with acquirers and not with each merchant individually. As for in-store acceptance, no additional hardware is required, just that already owned by the merchant with their point-of-sale terminal.

4. Maintaining highest security standards

Topping up an app with hard earned money requires a bit more trust in the security of that app than uploading your pictures to a social media app. Mobile banking apps must give their users confidence that their financial data is in good hands. A banking license certifies that the institution has met all the legal requirements when it comes to protecting its customers’ money and data. What makes the additional difference is that banks have years of compliance experience over fintech, and that’s why many banking experts are hired by challengers to guide them. BLIK is an integral part of the mobile banking apps so it has to meet the same security standards as the banks. In the end, no bank would integrate with anything that represents lower security standards than their own.


From a users’ point of view, there are too many apps, and customers demand integrated experiences. The most significant trend is that customers increasingly seek simple, holistic, embedded, and direct experiences. With more than 3.48 million apps on Google Play and roughly 2.22 million available apps for iOS (as of Q1 2022) it’s easy to achieve ‘app fatigue’. Users are just becoming more selective about which apps they keep on their smartphones and in use. Selecting the apps with an already wide user base to offer your embedded services makes much more business sense than creating your own. Besides, there is already an app for that…

About Piotr Jan Pietrzak

Piotr is the Director of International Development at BLIK, a leading European mobile payment system. His career showcases a vast wealth of experience from multiple industries, having held roles in the banking (ING Group), insurance (Achmea Holding), and software development sectors (Opera Browser). His proudest achievements include building web and app-based products from concept to launch in different geographies.

About BLIK

BLIK is a mobile payment system that enables ecommerce payments, POS payments, ATM cash withdrawals, and mobile P2P payments. BLIK has a dominant share of the mobile payments market in Poland. BLIK has won many prestigious awards, including the title of FinTech of the Year in 2019 by Cashless.pl and FinTech of the Year 2020 by Invest Cuffs.

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Keywords: fintech, super app, digital banking, mobile payments, mobile banking, payments , challenger bank, banks, acquisition, merchant
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies: Blik
Countries: Poland
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech


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