A Q&A with Leo Rocco, Creator of New Mobile Payments App, GoPago
Have you used GoPago yet? It's a cool, free new app that puts an end to waiting in line for food by letting you order and pay for everything from coffee to burgers straight from your smartphone. Sound good? We think it does too. Here, we present a little insight fresh from GoPago's CEO and founder, Leo Rocco on why the app will make your food future a lot brighter.
Q: Leo, first things first, what—in a nutshell—is GoPago?
A: GoPago is re-imaging the way that brick-and-mortar businesses and consumers use smartphones for mobile commerce. We allow local businesses to broadcast their goods and services through the smartphone and enable consumers to browse, order and pay for everything from lunch to dry cleaning from the palms of their hands.
Q: What benefits do I get out of using GoPago? Why should I download it?
A: GoPago is like your VIP card for local businesses. It lets you skip the line for your daily coffee, be recognized by your favorite places for your patronage, see what your friends think of the local fare, and get killer deals from local businesses who want to motivate you to try something new.
Q: Every entrepreneur seems to have a light-bulb moment as the genesis for starting their company. What inspired you to start GoPago?
A: I was at AT&T Park with some friends for a Giants game when Barry Bonds was on the cusp of becoming the home-run king. Long story short, my turn to do a beer run came and while stuck in a crazy line at the concession stand I heard the roar of the crowd as I missed Bonds’ historic 756. The initial idea for GoPago was born out of a desire to keep people from wasting time (and potentially missing epic life moments!) being stuck in line.
Q: Mobile payments and the mobile wallet seem to really be taking off – why do you think we’re seeing so many brands emerge in the space?
A: There is a perfect storm brewing that is helping mobile payments become a truly viable option. Smartphones have transformed the way people access data. The fact that consumers no longer need to be at their desktop to access and consume data has blurred the line between the physical and virtual world. Consumers are always connected, which is allowing people to make better, faster, more social decisions – including how they shop.
Q: What makes GoPago different from other services in San Francisco?
A: Our relationship with Chase is a significant differentiator for GoPago. Chase has more than 5,500 branches and 95 million card holders, which we’re able to leverage to drive GoPago adoption. We also have some really sharp folks who’ve joined our team from major tech brands including Adobe, Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc., because they believe in our vision to modernize brick and mortar businesses and alter the way people shop forever.
Q: You work with a lot of independent businesses in San Francisco. What impact do you see GoPago having on local businesses?
A: The Small Business Association says more than 50 percent of businesses fail not because they lack the passion for what they’re selling, but because they lack the “core competencies and tools” needed to execute. We’re on a mission to reduce that number by helping business owners focus on what they’re best at: their passion. GoPago helps them execute on the business functions necessary to their success, including point of sale, PCI compliance, inventory management, customer relationship management, etc. We want to level the playing field and provide the technology that was once only available to the Amazon's and the eBay's of the world to local businesses so they can thrive and be successful.