Metro Atlanta is a hub for the payment processing industry, but most of the sector’s big names have offices spreading northward from the city along the Georgia 400 corridor out to Alpharetta.
The City of Atlanta took a step in reorienting that balance this week, luring the U.S. corporate headquarters of U.K.-based WorldPay, which has operations in 30-plus countries.
Worldpay had its offices in Sandy Springs but was reportedly eyeing a new location in Florida or elsewhere in the U.S. as it seeks to make room for expansion. In November, it acquired Austin-based SecureNet Systems.
Worldpay is investing $9.6 million and bringing more than 1,200 jobs reportedly averaging an annual salary of $73,000-plus to Atlanta, though the specific location within the city has yet to be announced. The Atlanta City Council has approved $1.5 million from Invest Atlanta’s Economic Opportunity Fund, an incentive that helps the city close relocation deals. The fund was also used to attract the headquarters of athenahealth and Pulte Group, major corporations bringing a combined 700-plus jobs to Midtown and Buckhead, respectively. NCR Corp. is reportedly eyeing a location near Goergia Tech, which would bring the company inside the perimeter from its Gwinnett base.
The city also organized a broader incentive package to help lure Porsche Cars North America’s headquarters from the Concourse complex in Sandy Springs to its unique plot near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where the auto maker will have a test track.
The city projected that the Worldpay deal will be worth $3.4 million per year in tax revenue and will bring an economic impact of $424.6 million over time.
It will also build on efforts to highlgiht Georgia and metro Atlanta as a hub for the payments industry. The American Transaction Processors Coalition launched in April with the goal of raising the industry’s profile and lobbying clout in Washington. Some 70 percent of U.S. credit-card transactions go through Georgia, while 60 percent of the top payments companies have locations in the state. That’s more than 70 companies with combined revenues of more than $30 billion.
Worldpay U.S. President and CEO Tony Catalfano, who chairs the coalition, said at the launch that the industry needed to focus on the “cool” side of payments to ensure it retains the brightest minds coming out of Georgia universities.
“Payments is about innovation, and innovation’s about people and about talent, and we need those things to really prosper here,” he said at the time.