When people think of commerce in Atlanta, thoughts of Coca-Cola, CNN, and maybe even peaches might cross their minds. It would make sense, as these are the companies and items most marketed within and outside of Atlanta. However, the days of soda and broadcasting being Atlanta’s only claim to fame have long gone. Along with the boom in filming, aerospace production, and an overall vibrant startup ecosystem, another industry has risen to become one of Atlanta’s primary economic engines.
The financial technology (fintech) industry has taken the southern metropolis by storm. According to a report by the Technology Association of Georgia, there are 38,000 fintech specialists within the state. Also, at least 120 firms are either headquartered or have a significant presence in Georgia. It doesn’t look as if this trend is slowing down any time soon. So, here are five things you need to know about Atlanta’s burgeoning fintech industry, and why small business owners may want to look at jumping into the sector.
A Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
So, let’s start with the money. The top-10 Georgia based fintech companies generate an annual revenue of $72 billion. This does not include the other 110 companies operating within the state. Agribusiness, one of Georgia’s largest industries, brought in $72 billion in 2015 while the state’s film industry brought in almost $10 billion in 2017. These are large numbers, but Atlanta’s fintech companies easily eclipse these amounts. If trends continue, fintech approach almost $100 billion not long after 2020.
A National and Global Impact
While on vacation within or outside of the states, you probably had no idea that your transaction made its way through the peach state. According to the Metro Atlanta Chamber, 70 percent of all debit, credit, and gift card swipes are processed through a Georgia fintech company. Also, more than 15 million global-card enabled merchants depend on companies that handle transactions within the state of Georgia. These enterprises are facilitating the flow of money all over the country and the globe.
These Companies are Rapidly Expanding
According to the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, notable companies within the state such as NCR, Global Payments, Greensky, and Riskalyze have announced capital expansions or plans to add new jobs. The number of positions these companies are looking to fill range from 100 to 1,800. Also, Choose ATL and TAG Tech Fetch both operate active job boards for companies to submit jobs and internship opportunities in the fintech industry.
A Vibrant and Growing Community
Others have taken notice of Atlanta’s rise to the third highest fintech revenue generating city in the United States. A coalition of companies working to solidify Atlanta as dominating factor in fintech has joined together to form FinTech Atlanta. The group positions itself as an alliance of companies that want to fund and promote efforts to recruit, retain, and expand businesses and professions in Atlanta within the fintech sphere. Partners and founding member include Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Georgia Tech, SunTrust, Equifax, Accenture, and many other educational institutions and related companies. Also, April 2019 will see the second annual FinTech South Conference that showcases insights, innovations, and advancements made in the fintech industry. The conference will take place at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
A Treasure Trove of Talent
An article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution highlighted a study that revealed Atlanta to be the 10th best country —out of 100 Metro areas —for STEM professionals. It was the only southern city to make the list in the study. This information means that fintech companies have a variety of options for hiring the best tech talent. Georgia State University, the University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech all have programs geared toward the fintech industry. These companies can expect a steady flow of talent during graduation season each year.
For a while, Atlanta has slowly been emerging as a viable tech and startup hub. However, few within the city probably know that fintech has become one of the primary technology-based sectors within the state. According to the Metro Atlanta Chamber, 60 percent of payment processing companies are based or have operations in Georgia. As we see more advancements in payment technologies and globalization, this number is highly likely to increase. If you are considering a run in the fintech industry, from the looks of things, there is no time like the present.
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