marcio campos pagpop
Pagpop is making money while boosts other business in Brazil
By: Claudia Repsold & Lianna Patch
We spoke with Brazilian entrepreneur Marcio Campos, founder and current CEO of Pagpop, about his vision for the company and how his Fintech app is boosting other business in Brazil. This interview has been translated from Portuguese and edited for clarity.marcio campos pagpop
How is PagPop setting itself apart from other mobile payment providers?
Marcio Campos: PagPop is not about hardware. It’s about a business strategy that understands the needs of a microbusiness and caters to [those needs]. We are marketing PagPop beyond the big cities in Brazil, to very small places such as Nova Iorque city, in the state of Maranhão. We have a network of customers in every region of the country.
Brazil & U.S.A. Business: Why is PagPop perfect for Brazilian customers in particular?
Campos: In Brazil, 40% of the economically active population either does not have a bank account, or has a substandard bank account. This mass of people, which is ruled out of the mainstream financial system, operates microbusinesses that create revenue.
PagPop integrates those micro-entrepreneurs into the financial system. It takes only three minutes to set up an account with PagPop, and then your business can start to accept credit card transactions, even if you do not have a bank account.
Brazil & U.S.A. Business: Do you think that PagPop is one of those rare companies that are very profitable while promoting social change?
Campos: Surely. We are part of the U.N.’s Business Call to Action initiative. PagPop created an entire business platform for cell phones that helps micro-entrepreneurs from C and D classes to grow their trade. By using PagPop, they can accept credit card transactions and have a prepaid credit card (PagPop/MasterCard); this was impossible a short time ago. In addition, PagPop’s business management app has been helping many clients to organize their businesses — to the point that some have even applied for a business tax ID number. This is the real social and financial inclusion. People are changing their lives through their businesses.
Brazil & U.S.A. Business: You are not a regular geek building a tech company. How do you define yourself and your company?
Campos: Well, PagPop is a Fintech [financial tech] company; unlike other tech companies, we know exactly where the revenue will come from.
I’m not a computer geek, but I have been a business geek my entire life. I started my first business when I was 8 years old. I had four bearings, and my next-door neighbor had a wood box; we put our resources together to build a wagon. Every Saturday, we would go to the fresh market and offer to haul the ladies’ shopping. We split the revenue. I would get 60%, because, as I used to say, the wheels would not be turning without the bearings.
I came from a lower-middle-class family; I know how difficult it is for some people to have their voices heard by the mainstream financial system. However, PagPop can hear their voices and be profitable at the same time. There is a lot of wealth on the bottom of the pyramid. It is all pulverized, but I’m the catalyst.
Brazil & U.S.A. Business: What are your plans for growth?
Campos: There are 20 million potential PagPop customers in Brazil. Our goal is to have 500,000 users by 2017. We started in 2012 with 3,000 users, and in a couple of years, we grew 5,000% to 150,000 users. This shows the amazing market potential of our product. We are building up big data on the buying and consumption habits of the C and D classes in Brazil; this is extremely valuable information to any company.
Brazil & U.S.A. Business: If an investor offered you $20 million to buy you out, would you take it?
Campos: Indeed, $20 million is a lot of money — but I would not take it.
I believe in the huge potential of PagPop as a Fintech company. Many streams of revenue have not been explored yet. However, I will give you a heads-up — we are going for the second round of fundraising. We are very open to new investors.
Brazil & U.S.A. Business: What is your personal motto?
Campos: Payments are in my blood!