Fintech booms in Atlanta

Lelanie de Roubaix|20 June 2018
Fintech booms in Atlanta

What do wild horses, a land-owning tree, and the world’s largest drive-in restaurant have in common? They can all be found in the U.S. state of Georgia. So, too, can Atlanta, the state’s capital that is quickly becoming one of the world’s fintech hotspots.

FinTech Atlanta, a coalition of companies and organizations working together to grow the city’s fintech ecosystem, aims to have Atlanta recognized as the global home of fintech by 2020. The metropolis already has an impressive track record in financial services. In 2016, it was estimated that 70% of all payments transactions pass through companies headquartered in Atlanta. Add to that the fact that six out of the ten largest payment processing firms in the US are based in the area, and it’s easy to see why Atlanta has been dubbed “Transaction Alley”.

The origins of fintech in Atlanta can be traced back to long before the term “fintech” – and, in fact, much of the “tech” in the financial industry – was invented. Notable moments in the city’s financial services history paint a picture of innovation and growth:

  • In 1899, consumer credit reporting agency Equifax was founded in Atlanta. Known back then as Retail Credit Company (it was renamed Equifax in 1975), the company has moved with the times – its big data and analytics capabilities and range of IT platforms are fully digital today.
  • The Federal Reserve opened its Atlanta bank in 1914, serving as an economic anchor for the region.
  • In the late 1960s, the Atlanta Fed and the Georgia Institute of Technology started working on a pilot that became known as the Atlanta Payments Project, which resulted in the establishment in 1973 of an automated clearing house (ACH) in Atlanta – the second in the country.
  • Tillie, the All-Time Teller, was introduced by First National Bank of Atlanta in 1974. It was one of the first ATMs – and considered by many to be one of the most successful ATMs in banking history.
  • In 1995, Security First Network Bank, the world’s first internet bank, relocated to Atlanta.
  • The dawn of the 2000s brought a host of technology-driven companies to Atlanta, including ControlScan, Cardlytics, FirstData, and Kabbage, to name a few.
  • In 2014, the American Transaction Processors Coalition launched in Georgia, while FinTech Atlanta was founded in 2015.
  • This year, Entersekt moved its North American headquarters to a new office space in Atlanta.

As the global fintech ecosystem continues to grow and Atlanta’s fintech scene booms, Entersekt is ready to establish itself as a global leader in the field. Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, expressed the organization’s positive reaction to Entersekt’s presence in the city, saying “Entersekt’s decision to expand their North American headquarters in metro Atlanta is significant not only in terms of helping grow our international fintech ecosystem, but it also contributes to our efforts to build closer economic ties with international business. We wish Entersekt the greatest success operating out of Georgia and thank Sherif Samy for his continued support of fintech in metro Atlanta.” Samy, SVP North America at Entersekt, is equally positive about the company’s North American operations. “We specifically chose to set up shop in Atlanta because of the city’s booming payments, security and mobile innovation landscape. We are excited to establish ourselves in a fintech hub like Atlanta as we aim to acquire top talent and expand our business relationships with prominent companies in our space.”

Read more about Entersekt’s growth in the US here.

Map courtesy of Technology Association of Georgia

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About the author

Lelanie de Roubaix

Lelanie de Roubaix

Marketing communications specialist

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Entersekt is an international software development company based just outside of Cape Town, South Africa.

We are leaders in authentication, app security, and payments enablement technology, offering a highly scalable solution set with a track record of success across multiple continents.