The founder and CEO of Netopia mobilPay, Antonio Eram, tells BR how he started his entrepreneurial adventure 13 years ago and how he sees the future of his business.
How did you come up with the idea of founding Netopia?
Netopia was my step forward in the entrepreneurship world after my resignation from Connex Romania. It was a bold step back in 2005, since I had very little knowledge of being an entrepreneur. Like many before and after me, it was a mélange of craziness and innocence, glazed with an “I will change the world” approach.
Since then I have learned entrepreneurship the hard way, with a lot of pivoting, many drawbacks, small and big dramas. However, we managed not only to stay afloat but to prevail. Currently, we are leading the payments industry. And this is just the beginning.
What is the potential of the business?
Online and electronic payments, even today, in Romania are still at a meager 20 percent of all transactions. There are a lot of opportunities until we reach 99 percent. With Netopia Payments and all our complimentary services, we are leading the way for the democratization of all these transactions. After all, payments should be seamless. And this is our goal. More than that, there are other ways to be considered, cryptocurrency for example.
What impact does Netopia have on the industry in which it operates?
Being the industry leader requires a lot of work, dedication and smart use of resources. With a small team of highly efficient people, we have managed to establish a significant presence in this field. We lead by innovation. The payments industry is continually changing with new players coming in and old ones reinventing constantly. It’s tough but not impossible. In the last few years, we have made some bold steps in our business approach. For example, with our mobile payment solution mobilPay Wallet, we are heading to a paradigm shift in mobile payments: where a user can execute a payment regardless of the amount, the location or the payment method selected. Our goal is to build a new national payment scheme.