70 percent of all financial transactions that occur in the United States are processed through systems operated by Georgia-based FinTech corporations.
In a world transitioning from the conventional use of cash and checks to automated monetary exchanges consisting of third-party entities, the financial services industry has transformed dramatically to include, and rely heavily upon, the Financial Technologies (FinTech) sector.
To put this progression in perspective, global investment in FinTech related fields tripled from $4 billion in 2013 to $12.2 billion in 2014, a 200 percent growth compared to a 63 percent increase in overall venture-capital investments. In Georgia, we have seen more than $208 million in investments and 1570 jobs created in the FinTech sector since 2013.
One of the largest sub-sectors of the FinTech industry is the global payment processing (merchant acquiring) industry. Over the past few years, Georgia has met market demands head-on becoming the epicenter of this industry sector. Georgia now ranks third in the nation—just behind New York and California in terms of revenue—and generates annual economic contributions surpassing $34 billion.
In fact, 70 percent of all financial transactions that occur in the United States are processed through systems operated by Georgia-based FinTech corporations. To break this percentage down, this represents more than 85 billion transactions annually. What’s more, there are currently more than 80 FinTech companies in Georgia, making up 60 percent of the U.S. market. All of these companies operate within one or more of the following FinTech categories:
Specifically in Metro Atlanta, payment processing companies employ nearly 40,000 workers with more than 250,000 people working in finance-related occupations, and, there are an additional 105,000 people around the world on the payroll of these Georgia companies, giving way to the nickname “Transaction Alley.” Among these are companies like Fiserv, First Data, TSYS (headquartered in Columbus), FIS Global, Inc. and WorldPay—who recently relocated their world headquarters to Atlantic Station creating 595 jobs and investing well over $9 million.
Another leading industry sector in Georgia is Cyber Security. The state of Georgia leads the nation in the Information Security industry, with research, talent and a number of data centers. Georgia is now home to more than 115 information security companies, which generate more than 25 percent of the worldwide security revenue market.
Georgia is home to an amalgamation of a highly-skilled workforce and a sophisticated technology infrastructure, including the largest fiber optic intersection in the nation. Along with a culture of collaboration that exists between business and government, and it becomes clear why several outlets have ranked Georgia as the number one state in the U.S. to do business.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is located in the heart of “Tech-Square,” a strategic hub that breeds public-private partnership. Tech Square also houses the Technical College System of Georgia’s (TCSG) workforce training program, Quick Start, which offers customized training (free-of-charge) to qualified businesses locating or expanding in Georgia. In addition, Governor Deal recently launched a High Demand Career Initiative to put GDEcD, The University System of Georgia, TCSG and businesses in conversation to ensure that FinTech and all workforce demands are met by a quality supply of labor.
Payment processing and cyber security will continue to be a fast, complex and ever-evolving industry that is imperative for any company’s long-term success, and it will be Georgia that helps these companies remain competitive and innovative.