Georgia represents a significant nucleus for Fintech development, which has had a positive impact on both the state’s economy as well as financial operations that extend beyond state lines. The Atlanta fintech ecosystem, in particular, has become a bustling epicenter of innovation and trend-setting in the fintech space.
According to the 2016 TAG FinTech Ecosystem Report, done in partnership with Georgia Tech, almost two-thirds of payment card transactions touch one of the global networks of a Georgia fintech organization. Georgia—and the Atlanta fintech ecosystem, specifically—is setting the stage for innovations across the country and driving the transformation of financial technology that will have ripple effects globally.
Georgia is home to roughly 100 fintech providers, offering services and solutions to financial institutions across the globe. A large portion of this activity originates from what is termed Atlanta’s “Transaction Alley”, a hub of card processing firms like FirstData, Global Payments, and TSYS. More than half of the $5.3 trillion in U.S. annual payment card transactions is processed through Georgia-based companies, several of which are headquartered in Atlanta. This volume is staggering, with the Atlanta payment processing hub serving as the rails for trillions of electronic transactions globally.
As a state, Georgia reports some impressive numbers that highlight it’s leadership as a booming fintech ecosystem:
Georgia is home to more than 90 fintech companies
An estimated 118 billion worldwide payment transactions pass through Georgia fintech companies
Georgia fintech companies service roughly 3.9 Mil. merchants
An estimated 30,000+ Georgia-based employees work in fintech
Payment transactions by Georgia-based companies 36 Bil.
Atlanta is well-positioned to help fintech startups grow. Its reputation as a flourishing tech hub paired with its diverse profile of major operators in fintech make it primed for rocket growth. Some of the key factors that will contribute to this growth include accelerator programs, the level of tech talent attracted to the metro area, and the ability for collaboration and partnerships. We explore these in more depth below.
The Atlanta fintech ecosystem has well-supported incubators and accelerators that can catapult startups to the next level. Atlanta has been instrumental in decreasing the number of tech startups that fail with the help of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech University, one of the longest-standing startup incubators nationally. It boasts a 90% success rate for graduates after 5 years. This success streak was further boosted by a $1 million donation from Worldpay made to the center to support a fintech accelerator program.
Atlanta is also home to multiple large co-working spaces that act as startup incubators. The fourth-largest tech-hub in the U.S., Atlanta Tech Village, is home to several startups and also hosts Finnovation, a fintech incubator program. Switchyards in another incubator that includes more than 300 startups.
Each of these incubators looks to help educate entrepreneurs and provide support in building a viable, scalable, revenue-generating business. Several of the startups in these programs have received tens of millions in early-stage funding.
Another promising factor in the Atlanta fintech ecosystem is the talent pool, further feeding the startup scene. Surrounded by leading engineering and tech universities, the area is a magnet for STEM graduates. It’s the perfect recipe for a roaring startup scene as Atlanta is also the fifth-best city for tech jobs, thanks to inexpensive office space and reasonable cost of living. The region also boasts solid job growth and median salary.
Atlanta was also named one of America’s ‘Tech 25’ of the nation’s top 25 cities in tech last year by global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. Ranking #17, it has seen a tech labor growth rate of 47.6 percent and a 30 percent boost in tech degrees over the past 7 years.
Georgia is home to a diverse business base, making it the perfect petri dish for startups to develop revenue-driving client partnerships. Atlanta is often considered the crossroads of financial services, real estate, and financial technology, though it is not dominated by one specific industry as many other regions are. This makes it ripe for cross-pollination and collaboration by startups and partners that may have similar goals but have gaps to fill in terms of solving specific use cases.
Opus Consulting Solutions has spent the last 20 years building solid relationships with some of the biggest names in payments. Our domain expertise paired with our passion to go the extra mile in client experience is what sets us apart from competitors in the space.
We chose our headquarters in Atlanta for all of the reasons listed above. As a bleeding-edge payments company, having access to the top tech talent is paramount. We offer top tier experiences to our clients, all because of the deep knowledge and passion of our team members.
Access to strong partnerships and proximity to this growing fintech epicenter have made it a vital part of who we are as a company. We believe that innovation is a team effort, and we relish the opportunity to work with other leading companies and thought leaders in the space.
Finally, the pure volume of transactions that touch Atlanta through processors and other payments solution providers make it a clear choice as a place to call home. Our mission is remain at the forefront of payments technology and innovation, and staying close to the heartbeat of America’s transaction center is important.
Atlanta looks to have all the necessary building blocks of a burgeoning fintech ecosystem. Between its reasonably priced business environment, ability to attract top tech talent, existing environment of established fintech leaders, and growing base of startups, Atlanta stands to hold its ground as one of the country’s leading fintech cities.
The benefits of the Atlanta fintech ecosystem are undeniable. As high-paying fintech jobs continue to increase, and as startups grow into scalable fintech giants, the region will continue to be positioned as a center of innovation and tech leadership.