panel discussion among payments leaders
Atlanta payments firm Incomm is deepening its roots in Georgia. Left to right: Scott Meyerhoff, Incomm CFO; Chris Carr, commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development; Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber and H. West Richards, executive director, American Transaction Processors Coalition.

After searching for greener pastures, another payments firm has decided that staying anchored in Atlanta is the best way to accelerate its growth here and abroad. 

InComm, which provides prepaid payment solutions including debit cards and gift cards for more than 500 brand partners in 30 countries, announced Wednesday that it would invest $20 million in equipment and hire 275 more workers as it expands its downtown headquarters and its call centers and data centers across Georgia. In addition to providing the back-end infrastructure to process payments, InComm differs from some other card processors in that it has a physical warehouse in Newnan where 91 million gift cards were sorted and distributed last year. 

The company will add another floor of office space at 250 Williams Street in the American Cancer Society building abutting Centennial Olympic Park. It’s the latest in a string of payments firms deepening their roots in the metro area, validating increasingly strident calls by economic development leaders to nurture an industry that supports more than 40,000 jobs directly in the state.

The American Transaction Processors Coalition, an industry group formed in 2014, has led the charge calling for firms to “Re-Up” on their investments in Georgia. Recent months have seen companies commit to opening new headquarters facilities in the city of Atlanta, including Worldpay and NCR Corp., which are both moving to Midtown from Sandy Springs and Duluth, respectively. They often cite the ability to draw millennial workers to the area as they focus on innovation. 

InComm is staying put downtown, where it operates a key data center in the building that once housed the telecommunications infrastructure for the Olympic Games. The company pointed to support from city and state leaders and a wealth of industry talent in companies and universities, along with the world’s busiest airport, as helping firm up the decision. Some 125 employees will join the Atlanta headquarters, with 100 more going to a Peachtree Corners call center. Fifty more will be split between an existing data center in Alpharetta and a new one in Suwanee. The hires represent $13.1 million in new payroll in addition to the $20 million the company will spend on equipment and real estate.  

InComm Chief Financial Officer Scott Meyerhoff told Global Atlanta it just made sense to stay in the “epicenter of knowledge” on payments, given the specialized nature of the industry. 

“Our business is very complicated. It’s not just a transaction-processing technology; it’s also logistics, it’s production, it’s a call center, it’s a warehouse distribution all throughout the world,” Mr. Meyerhoff said, noting that all of those components fit together in Atlanta.

Chris Carr, the state’s economic development commissioner, said Georgia’s momentum as a global leader in financial technology (known as “fintech” in the industry) has grown significantly and should be even better known around the world.

room full of employees
Incomm’s employees were on hand for a panel discussion after the new investment was announced.

Even after working as chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, an industry advocate who now chairs a payments caucus in the U.S. Senate, Mr. Carr said he has learned more in the last two years as commissioner about the industry’s potential to drive innovation, create jobs and burnish the state’s global reputation. 

“I though I had a pretty good idea, but then I realized that we have one of the best-kept secrets in the world, and we don’t want it to be the best-kept secret anymore,” he said during a panel discussion addressing InComm employees. “We need to shout from the rooftop how important this industry is.” 

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed were also on hand to praise InComm for its decision to stay put in Georgia. 

Mr. Deal and Mr. Carr pitched leaders from Cielo, Brazil’s largest payments firm, on Georgia during a trip to the South American country in June.

Global Atlanta is set to release a special report on the payments industry in the coming weeks. Email to receive a copy upon publication. 

Learn more about InComm’s jobs commitments here.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...

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