Over the past few years, Alpharetta has built a sterling reputation as one of the Southeast’s top tech hubs. Thanks to local support of technology, as well as the City of Alpharetta’s commitment to economic development, startups are thriving all over the city. Entrepreneurs are drawn to the area’s incubators, amenities and technology-minded community.
But what really distinguishes Alpharetta’s culture isn’t the quantity of tech companies here but the quality. The region is home to a high concentration of businesses in financial technology (fintech), an increasingly important field. Fintech companies deal with the financial service industries’ tech needs, including the ways payments are processed.
Collectively, according to Where Georgia Leads, the state’s fintech firms generate $72 billion each year in revenue. That’s more than every other U.S. state except California and New York. Additionally, the site reports that six of the 10 largest American payment-processing firms are based in Georgia. Alpharetta itself, meanwhile, is home to more than 600 technology companies – including roughly 45 in fintech.
One of the region’s well-known fintech companies is BitPay, a global leader in digital payments. BitPay’s platform gives businesses and individuals simple, powerful tools for storing, sending, and accepting bitcoin payments. BitPay builds payment technology for the Bitcoin blockchain that gives businesses significant savings on payment processing fees, increased settlement speed for cross-border payments, and transactions free of the fraud and chargeback risks traditionally experienced with online payments. BitPay’s bitcoin wallet makes secure bitcoin savings and payments simple for individuals, and the BitPay Prepaid Visa® Debit Card gives US and European residents one of the world’s fastest ways to turn bitcoin into dollars spendable with Visa® merchants. Although the company is headquartered in Alpharetta, BitPay’s platform works for businesses and individuals around the world.
“There are a lot of great companies in the Alpharetta area, and also very specifically in the software and fintech sector,” notes Stephen Pair, BitPay’s CEO and founder. “For the employees here at BitPay, many of us find Alpharetta to be a more convenient location to work out of.”
Other fintech companies in the area include FactorTrust, an alternative credit bureau; Paymetric, a leader in integrated payment solutions; Priority Payment Systems, an electronic payment processing company with highly flexible, scalable payment technologies; and Vesta, which offers a suite of integrated fraud and payment solutions.
The region’s proximity to Atlanta is a boon for fintech companies, allowing them to tap into Atlanta’s resources while enjoying shorter commutes north of the city. But Alpharetta offers benefits independent of Atlanta, too. It’s got one of the strongest fiber and power fiber infrastructures in the Southeast, and city leaders are committed to continued investment in tech businesses.
“There’s a very rich talent pool in the area,” adds Pair. In fact, the City notes that as much as 50 percent of Alpharetta’s workforce works in tech-related jobs, so new career opportunities abound as well.
With so many fintech companies starting in or relocating to Alpharetta, chances to collaborate, trade resources and learn from one another are plentiful. “GATN’s mission has always been to help tech executives to connect through GATN’s locally-based thought leadership, educational, and networking events,” notes Karen Cashion, GATN’s chairman and founder.