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In today's publication, we would like to introduce you to one of our core members, Max Diffenbakh, who has been with Credits since 2017.
Max, currently, you are occupying the position of Head of Partnerships. Could you please tell us how you moved to this role from the starting point?
Well, yes, I spent around two years at Credits in the role of Community Relations Manager/PR Manager/Head of Content/Head of Ambassador Program, and in December 2019, the company opened up a position of Crypto Processing specialist. The main object in this new capacity was to connect a payment gateway for CS purchases. I responded as the description corresponded to my professional interests to grow further into the payment services industry as a whole. Before Credits, I had an opportunity to work for financial organizations involved in attracting investments, refinancing, and issuing loans on a collateral basis. So considering this experience I already had, I thought this new position at Credits could serve as a unique point for future career development.
I responded and received my chance. During the first period in my new occupancy, I researched the available services market, connecting with many potential partners to understand their business models, requirements, chargebacks, and interchanges, learning key market players and some insights on licensing and market rates, compliance rules, and technical requirements. Along with this, Credits was exploring new hypotheses for the launch of FinTech products.
To grasp this vast amount of new information and understand the market, I was working almost non-stop. I was in conversations with various professionals within this field worldwide: the UK, Europe, USA, Singapore, Australia, Philippines, India, Russia. Gradually, the information received began to structure into a clear understanding of different scenarios and attributes. Thus, I immersed myself in the features of many financial products; for example, I am pretty professionally versed in such products as acquiring, payouts, debit cards, bank accounts, money remittances, foreign currency exchange. This experience provided me with knowledge on how to give the user such a product and make money on it.
What is your working routine?
In fact, I act as a mediator of communication between our team and all partners that provide us with the business and regulatory frameworks for the operation of our products. Based on the general structure of the business, I am engaged in the initial analysis of product launches. I assess what needs to be done for this or that product to work (not talking about development), I prepare business requirements, lead generation of a network of partners, coordinate the process of finding the necessary employees, companies to solve specific problems, coordinate the work of compliance and its compliance with regulatory requirements, communicate within the team the information required to form an overall synchronized picture of what products we make and exactly how they work in a particular market.
How important is your role for the company?
Considering that I am a key person in communication with partners and a source of information that determines the vector of work for the team, I think it is important.
The challenges you have faced in your position?
I will name three main challenges I am facing in my day-to-today routine.
Distance between partners and us. The lack of face-to-face communication and personal contact in constant access increases the time of the partner's connection. COVID, and in general, the entire format of work in this segment is conducted remotely, which can cause misunderstandings, premature assessments, and the formation of false conclusions about the depth of a particular process.
The constantly changing regulatory component of the crypto business. Every six months, or a year, new requirements for crypto activities are formed, new circumstances that slow down the process of launching products. There are many markets, different initial ones, different attitudes towards regulation, you need to be prepared, look several steps ahead, sometimes it is simply difficult to predict what will happen in this way, so you have to adapt and adjust the work of the department and the entire business to the realities of the market.
Unreliable partner despite the market reputation. I ran into guys from a good company, who were fooling their heads with checks and questions for six months, and in the end, they refused to work for an unclear reason, which led to a loss of time since there were good backup partners.
The latest achievements
The key is probably the application for FCA and CBI, which provides us with card and account products. It turned out to be a rather lengthy process; despite the declared three months, it took much longer; we reacted quickly, but this is a process in which several companies participate. Each company bears its risks. The Financial Institute probably carries far more significant financial, regulatory, and reputational risks than our company, so I rate the overall process as satisfactory. At the moment, I have closed all the needs of the company associated with one or another supplier partner; now, we will work more on localization in Europe, local currencies, which require working with local sponsor banks in a particular country of launch.
In your opinion, what is the most important for the success of the fintech product? Which part of the product is based on the work you do?
I do not think that there are secrets to success in fintech. However, there is a general order of business as a whole. What determines the business success, starting from approaches to building the company's internal business processes, strategy determines a lot, team synchronization, vision of the market and what it will be like in a few years, understanding why your product makes your product a relevant solution for the masses and what the audience ceiling is, the ability to adapt to the market, manage a team and achieve intermediate results, from which the overall result is built, which determines the success or failure of the company and its team, the company is a human mechanism, so if you achieve the integrity of the overall vision. It corresponds to the opinion of everyone, then probably such a team has a great future in any field of activity.
What do you like about Credits and the startup environment?
Within the company, I received a lot of expertise, plunging into very differentiated tasks from each other; I like to manage the process on my own and think about how to solve a particular problem, I feel like a builder of the future, and I like the environment from which I can draw a professional experience while doing something great. At the same time, I believe that I have done a lot for the company, I am of great benefit, so I feel that this is a mutually beneficial process for the company and myself.
What I like most about the company is that the team is constantly moving forward, demanding from everyone to be fully involved in the work, so it seems to me that this unbridled hard work and desire will lead the team to the final right decisions and results, which will be the beginning of our path to Unicorn.