Small Business BC

60 Seconds with Michael Gokturk - Payfirma

Michael Gokturk is founder and CEO of Payfirma, a payment processing and payment systems company based in Vancouver, British Columbia.  At Payfirma Michael is responsible for creating and executing Payfirma's vision and strategy, as well as leading the company's sales and finance teams. 

Founded in 2011, the company recently won the Best New Canadian Startup of 2011 in KPMG’s First Annual Canadian Startup Awards.  
Never one to stand still, the company has recently launched mobile payment apps for the iPhone, Android and are the first company to create a payment app for Blackberry. Their goal: to provide businesses with a simple and approachable service that helps you accept credit and debit cards in their stores, online and on your mobile devices.
Michael was named in the 2011 BIV Top 40 Under 40 and was honoured by the Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce as their Best Business Person of 2012.
Q: What is the first website you log onto in the morning?
A: PayfirmaHQ – Payfirma’s proprietary payment processing hub and central CRM.
Q: Who is your mentor?
A: Sam Jawad, the president of Chase Paymentech, and Erkin Gokturk, my father.
Q: Which business leader do you most admire and why?
A: Jack Welch, the previous CEO of GE. He knew what he needed to get done and did it, without sugar coat anything. 
Q: What has been the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?
A: Chose your partners very carefully. Document everything. Have amazing lawyers.
Q: If you could go back in time and invent a product of service – what would you create?
A: The original search engine. I could have made it better.
Q: If you weren’t in the industry you are in today, what would you be doing?
A: Finding a way to get into the industry I’m in…I love it.
Q: If you could have a super power, which would you choose?
A: Foresight.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: Innovating simplicity.
Q: What has been your greatest success as an entrepreneur or business leader?
A: Having great partners.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur or business leader?
A: Finding people who are dedicated, ambitious and creative


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