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“We’re merely scratching the surface of what can be achieved with FinTech,” claims Co-founder and CEO of Frost Pawel Oltuszyk

And Pawel Oltuszyk has provided Everly.eu with an exclusive interview.

“Frost is the account that helps you conquer your finances and pay like a local wherever you are,” claims the ambitious Fintech that was founded by Pawel Oltuszyk and Edyta Sliwinska in 2019 in Manchester.

How would you describe your product to someone who has never heard of it?

Frost is an intuitive e-money account powered by cutting-edge automation, streamlining various financial tasks into one place – the Frost app. Our mission is to help users save time and money through valuable spending insights and money-saving tools – helping them to navigate the tough economic climate. All while offering a seamless day-to-day banking service. 

What are the features of your product and which features are you still planning to launch?

Save assist

This feature automatically finds users better, cheaper energy plans than their current one, allowing them to compare features of other providers to find the best deal for them. We can then facilitate utility switching for our users. Of course, the current climate makes it hard to locate cheaper energy deals. However, within the in-app breakdown of each provider, we educate customers on which providers are ‘greener’ than others, helping them to make more sustainable choices. 

In the not-so-distant future we’ll also be introducing broadband switching, insurance renewals and remortgaging to the Save Assist feature – streamlining more and more tedious financial tasks for our users to help them save time and money. 

Spend management

This feature helps users track, manage and save their money. This feature automatically categorises monthly expenses into the following:

Melting money: necessities – like rent, groceries, electricity, internet

Cool money: the fun stuff – like movies, trips, cafe bills

Liquid Money: the periodical balance – money that was leftover in the selected timeframe, offering a great opportunity for savings.

The app will then suggest a monthly savings amount based on account activity, giving users the opportunity to ‘Freeze’ money and save smarter. 

Coming up for Frost

We’ll soon be incorporating Google Pay into our payment methods for customers, and Apple Pay will follow. We’re also currently hard at work strategising towards more ‘green’ initiatives. It’s always been our aim to prioritise sustainability within our operations and our branding. This began with a decision to make our physical cards from recycled plastics, and there’s plenty more coming in the pipeline that will permanently amplify our efforts in this area, so watch this space. 

Why “Frost”? What does it imply?

The name ‘Frost’ is easy to remember, it’s recognisable, but it also reflects our intentions to help customers be ‘cool-headed’ about their finances. In tough economic climates, and amidst customers’ busy lives, staying on top of finances can leave many people ‘hot-headed’. But by educating our customers on spending, and offering them tools to save time and money, we’re helping them to keep their money cool.

‘Frost’ fits perfectly with this, and the name is easily expandable across our features (such as melting, cool and liquid money). When our customers interact with the brand throughout our product, it makes sense, it sticks with them and it’s memorable.

The app had 15k people on the waiting list before the launch, what is the number of current users?

We’ve onboarded thousands of users since our launch in spring, with more and more people signing up every day.

What are the marketing tools that you use?

We have active Frost accounts on multiple social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. We also send out a monthly email newsletter to everyone signed up to Frost – keeping them up to speed with the latest updates, money tips, forthcoming features and more. 

We publish press releases covering milestones or achievements along our journey. And we’re also in the process of building a referral programme to take advantage of the many people who recommend Frost to their friends.

What is your business model? How do you plan on becoming profitable?

The simplification of our subscription attracts users – as do our features such as Save Assist – from which we receive kickback money from providers. And as a principal member of Visa, we receive interexchange fees on card payments. 

We have some exciting user-focused features on our roadmap that we will be launching this year and throughout 2023.  Our aim is not just to save our customers money but to also save their precious time.

What is your personal take on the current state of FinTech in the UK?

When it comes to fintech, the UK is one of the most advanced countries in the world. Neo banks have been growing in popularity for over 5 years, but it’s still early days. Only now are customers trusting them enough to switch over from their high street banks. This isn’t on a mass level yet, but it’s only the beginning. 

We’re merely scratching the surface of what can be achieved with fintech, and with so much innovation happening in the UK, it’s an ideal place to develop our own fintech and create trends for the rest of Europe and the world to follow. 

Are you looking for investors? Stage of funding?

We’ve now closed our summer seed round (£1.1million). We’ll be starting the next round in autumn, so for any interested parties, now is the time to reach out. 

Do you plan on expanding beyond the UK?

Yes, but we want to do it with full control on our own terms. This means it will take time, but we’ll be applying for a European licence in 2023 with an aim to enter this market in the following year. 

Our expansion must go step by so we always remain focused on the customer. Currently, we are growing quickly in the UK, and have an ambitious plan to grow across Europe in 2024. Frost has the potential to go fully global and so we take this into consideration when thinking about licences and capabilities in different geographies.

Which company would you pick as your role model?

I don’t actually have any! Every bar I have set has been off my own back. To be truly innovative in our offering, I look inwards at what I would like Frost to achieve, rather than looking at others.

Were there any difficulties with development? What was the worst part?

Building an independent fintech start up is an everyday challenge! There are a lot of moving parts, which means there are a lot of obstacles to overcome on our journey. We’ve built Frost from the ground up with its own core. And as we continue to expand our engineering resources, we’re able to build and deliver things more efficiently as we progress.

The speed of communications with external parties is out of our hands, which can be time-consuming. Take compliance requirements, for example. We’re a tightly regulated business which requires a lot of attention. But none of this is bad, and nothing is impossible! We want to get things right from the beginning, which means we’re happy to spend the extra time and persistence now, with full independence to shape Frost exactly how we want it. This is the beauty of controlling your own fintech start up.

Jan Cerny
Jan is an innovation enthusiast and Fintech news reporter. He specializes in news distribution, social media, and content analysis.

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