Atlanta: The sleeping FinTech giant that’s waking up
(Atlanta) – Throughout the 20th and into the 21st century, much of the world looked to places like New York and Silicon Valley for innovation and leadership in payments and financial technology. But all the while, the city of Atlanta was quietly building a financial technology and payments infrastructure to rival any in the world.
That deep foundation has rendered Atlanta firmly prepared to take the spotlight as the host city of the 2018 P20 conference. The high-level summit will bring together the leading innovators, executives, and government regulators of the payments and financial tech industries.
For the people involved in Atlanta’s financial tech and payments boom of recent years, it affirms the steady growth they’ve witnessed from the ground level.
“People in the (FinTech) industry know,” said Larry Williams, Executive Director of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). “If you’re already in the industry, you know what’s going on in Georgia (in the FinTech and payments industries).”
Williams and his organization are at the forefront of organizing the annual FinTech South conference, an event that drew renowned keynote speakers, and thousands of participants, to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in May of 2018.
“In Georgia, we have such a deep, rich history,” said Williams. “We have the Federal Reserve. The New York Stock Exchange is run out of Atlanta. People don’t know this. We really do dominate in this area, and will continue to grow.”
One of the companies that has contributed to Atlanta’s FinTech renaissance in recent years is InComm. Founded in 1992, they have called Georgia home as others have flocked to join them in laying down roots in the state.
“There are dozens upon dozens of (FinTech and payments) companies that touch 70 percent of all transactions in the United States, through companies in Georgia,” said Scott Meyerhoff, COO and CFO of InComm.
The high number of transactions that come through Atlanta — 70 percent of all in the United States — has earned the city the nickname, “Transaction Alley.”
“The crazy part about it is, (Transaction Alley) has been here and nobody even knew it was here,” said Meyerhoff. “And now folks are waking up, and I think that’s a great thing for the industry. The opportunities are endless for innovation, and changing the way people buy, shop, and interact, based on companies here in Georgia.”
Even in the wake of remarkable growth of the industries in Atlanta and throughout Georgia, Williams believes there remains an incredible upside for further expansion of jobs and innovation.
“There’s a whole lot of other people that need to know, and there’s part of the sector that continues to learn about us,” said Williams. “We’ve got to let people know that there are great careers that are coming up (in Georgia) in FinTech.”
The 2018 P20 conference, October 10 at the Atlanta History Center, will provide another platform to showcase Atlanta’s international prominence in the realm of payments and financial technology. The conference comes on the heels of the inaugural P20 in London, in October of 2017.