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Meet Daniel Muller of AeroPay in Ravenswood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Muller.

Daniel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m originally from NY, grew up in a South American household and moved to Chicago to start an office for the tech company that I was working for at the time. While living in Chicago, I often explored different neighborhoods and I began to build relationships with small businesses and members of the community. Through these relationships, I learned about the hardships of small business ownership and the struggles they have managing payments. After living in Chicago for a few years, the company I was working for was acquired, which gave me the option to start something of my own.

Given my experience in tech and mobile payments, I decided to start AeroPay in order to try to help local businesses. From the beginning, our goal has been to make payments cheaper and safer for store owners and their customers. We are currently launching the beta platform in a few neighborhoods on the north side of Chicago.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being an entrepreneur is never a smooth road: building anything from scratch is a challenge. Early on, my biggest struggle was how to turn the different information I was given into a coherent, executable plan. There will be many opinions, articles, books etc that will tell you the ‘right’ way to do something, but the reality is that every situation is unique. I learned that the hard way, but have come to trust my instincts and create a path that works for our company.

While playing football in College one of my coaches frequently said: “It’s never as good or as bad as it seems…” Wins can be short-lived, mistakes can be fixed. My advice is to try to take a balanced approach while adapting to success and struggles along the way.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with AeroPay – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
AeroPay is a new cash-like mobile payments solution used to pay local businesses. Customers pay through the AeroPay app and money is transferred through a direct deposit to the business. AeroPay is specifically designed to benefit local businesses as a much cheaper alternative to credit and debit card payments. From the merchant’s perspective, it’s better than credit OR cash: cheaper than credit & no risk of cash vanishing from the drawer. Also, our app can be used on any smartphone or tablet.

I’m extremely proud of our mission: to support community growth by providing a payment option that is low cost to businesses and easy for customers to use. This is what drives our company and sets us apart.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I feel that the best parts of Chicago are the friendly, unpretentious people and the diversity of its many neighborhoods. If asked, Chicagoans will not hesitate to stop and point you in the right direction. Each neighborhood has its own personality and there are hidden gems scattered all across the city. You may have to dig a little deeper to find the real Chicago, but if you ask questions, do your research and are willing to explore you will be rewarded!

On the other hand, the environment for locally owned businesses is challenging in Chicago. Permit rules, frequently changing regulations, constant construction and neighborhood crime are issues. Businesses tend to adapt quickly and the city is providing additional resources – but there is still a long way to go. Our goal is to be part of that positive change that makes running a small business in Chicago a better and more profitable experience.

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Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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