Merchant e-Solutions, the American arm of Brazilian payment processing giant Cielo S.A., is set to invest $5 million in a new Buckhead headquarters that will employ 140 people.
The company is moving from Silicon Valley to Georgia, a fact being played up by boosters of an industry that many say has its epicenter in an Atlanta-area cluster they call “Transaction Alley.”
Gov. Nathan Deal visited with top executives from Cielo during a trade mission to Brazil last year, and reports have speculated that a Merchant e-Solutions move was imminent.
The company, which also does merchant acquiring — helping retailers accept payment cards —joins a payments industry hub that accounts for more than 40,000 Georgia jobs, according to the American Transaction Processors Coalition.
Despite its flagging economy, Brazil has become a key market in the sector for many Atlanta-based companies including Elavon and First Data Corp., as its population has grown wealthier and more apt to use plastic. Thanks to their home country’s malaise, many large Brazilian firms are exploring growth opportunities abroad.
“We are excited to make Georgia our home,” said Merchant e-Solutions Chief Executive Officer Tom Bell. “The Atlanta market brings us closer to key business partners and allows us to tap into the amazing talent of this rich financial technology epicenter as we establish and expand our local presence.”
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who led a 2014 mission to Brazil, said the city is “solidifying our status as a national and international hub for transaction processing.”
Read Global Atlanta’s report on the international promise of the payment processing industry here.