Paolo Azzola of PayMaya and The future of online money
By Claudine Ng
Today’s rapid development of modern technology partnered with the quickly blooming industry of online shopping is giving intelligent and crafty entrepreneurs a shot at creating solutions to supply the growth of the online market. Over the last few years, many have come up with a wide range of local online shopping sites but none have come so far as providing an easy and efficient way to assist the shopper which would allow for the successful growth of the market. What the online market had been missing in the last few years, is now filled and made up for by the creation of PayMaya.
Intelligence and Ambition
As for Paolo Azzola, the current COO and Managing Director of PayMaya Philippines, he considers his origin story is somewhat cliché. After having worked for 7 years at the finance department in a very large corporation with 7 years of following someone else’s lead he had decided that he wanted to create something of his own. Paolo came up with the idea that since technology is where the world is going, he needed to put his knowledge of finance to use leading him to financial technology, more commonly known as FinTech, which was a burning hot topic around 2013 when he decided to begin.
After a couple of his successful endeavors in FinTech, he decided to join Rocket Internet AG in London in which he was sent to the Philippines to manage relationships between PLDT and Rocket on a joined venture on payments which is now fully owned by PLDT. These events would later lead him to the creation of PayMaya. According to Paolo, transitioning and getting out of your comfort zone creates the possibility for you to feel good and accomplished for climbing up the ladder of intelligence. He says that every stage in life is a new beginning and you start from zero again in which he states that in every single one of his new situations, he had felt like he was the dumbest person around but that only fuels his desire to climb the ladder and show everyone what it means to be intelligent.
PayMaya, the Philippines, and the future of FinTech
According to Paolo, FinTech as an industry is now ripe for change. He states how as a person who is often associating with banks, the level of service is almost always poor. He sees that FinTech as a whole, and not just in the Philippines but even in developed markets, has a reason to succeed because the current market and all the current providers do not serve their customers the right way.
When he was asked why the Philippines had been the target location, he answered that if you look at how fast the consumers are joining the internet world in the Philippines, with a huge social media population that is ever increasing alongside the penetration of the smartphones in the market which is being pushed and supported by the local TelCo’s, you will see that the Philippines is a country that, with the way people interact with companies and vice versa, changes very quickly. Now, with the arrival of PayMaya, digital payments are made easier and he reiterates that in the next five years this will surely change the landscape of the economy. Paolo sees a great future for FinTech in the Philippines, even stating that they are having problems with their projects because they have too many great ideas.
Advice for aspiring FinTech entrepreneurs
When asked for advice for future FinTech entrepreneurs, Paolo then tells us of his current program in PayMaya in which the employees work together on IdeaSpace as to focus on not only their current work but also to develop future ideas.
He then goes on saying that the way this one team had worked and thought about the current industry, they had to look at a current problem within their own company and solve it. He states that looking for the problems and the gaps of a certain idea and then solving the problems and filling in the gaps will allow you to grasp the new idea in itself. It’s the best way to start a company than to compete with a market that has the exact product already. You must take advantage of the opportunities that these problems emit.