A British firm that expanded its U.S. distribution center and headquarters in Norcross this week is putting a different spin on the metro area’s payments niche.
While Atlanta is known for the software that makes credit cards function, SpacePole Inc. specializes in pieces of hardware that help customers swipe them more easily.
“SpacePole’s location in Gwinnett underscores the Atlanta region’s strengths in the financial technology and payment processing sectors, including hardware and software, and how they apply to other clusters as well,” John Woodward, senior director of foreign investment for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, said in a statement. “They are a welcome addition to the community.”
SpacePole is a subsidiary of U.K.-based Ergonomic Solutions International, which has a factory in Denmark making mounting devices for payment terminals. The company offers stands with fixed or detachable bases, taking into account the growing move toward the use of tablets and mobile phones as terminals in themselves.
SpacePole also sees another trend that could lead to growth: Payment networks last October began pinning liability for fraudulent transactions on the party that is unprepared handle so-called chip-and-PIN cards, which are much harder to counterfeit than magnetic strips, the prevailing technology in the U.S. That prompted issuers to send out new cards equipped with the technology, also known as EMV, while many of the largest retailers updated their terminals to accept them.
“Key to our strategy is tapping the exceptional market growth opportunities in the U.S. as the retail sector implements EMV processing of credit and debit cards,” said Ian Dewar, SpacePole’s president and group CEO, in a statement.
SpacePole this week opened a 10,000-square-foot facility that includes operational support and distribution, with plans for further expansion. Proximity to the Georgia ports and the Atlanta airport was key, as the company sources from its factories in both in Europe and Asia.