The American Transaction Processors Coalition (ATPC) was recently launched in Georgia, which has gradually become a payment headquarters, with 70 percent of the nation’s credit, debit and gift card transactions pushed through the state.
“The payments processing industry is approaching the size of the U.S. movie industry, and it is dominated by Atlanta the same way that Los Angeles dominates movies,” Robert Green, a lawyer at Hunton & Williams, which helped a group of local Georgian payments companies launch the ATPC, said. “Yes, it’s not glamorous—but it’s ubiquitous.”
Annual revenue from Georgia’s payments companies exceeds $30 billion, and last year, the state’s payments firms processed 52 billion transactions totaling $4.4 trillion. More than 70 payments firms are located in Georgia. The firms employ approximately 40,000 people in a small area referred to by industry participants as “Transaction Alley.”
Worldpay is one of the founding members of the ATPC, and its U.S. branch CEO Tony Catalfano is the chairman of the organization’s board. He also represents Ingenico, which, along with Worldpay, is headquartered in Atlanta. Other founders include prepaid firms Incomm and Brightwell Payments, along with processors Elavon and FIS.
Green said the state’s capitol of Atlanta has an opportunity to define itself as the payments center of the world. As new payments technology like e-wallets, smartphones and other devices emerges, it creates massive growth potential, especially in developing countries.
“Think when these companies get all of India, China and Brazil using electronic payments,” Green said. “Atlanta has always had a crossroads story, first for railroads, then air travel. If we do this right, we can be the global center for payments.”