Alternative payment systems such as Bitcoin and payment processors such as Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) and Apple Pay, have made financial technology, referred to in shorthand form as fintech, a booming industry of the 21st century. Atlanta is one of the top areas in the United States leading the boom. Georgia ranks third in the nation – behind only New York and California – as a U.S. hub for fintech companies.

What Is Fintech?

Fintech includes a broad array of companies, some of which provide support services for traditional financial firms, and some that offer alternatives to traditional banking and financial services firms or additional financial services for consumers.

Fintech in Atlanta

Atlanta, with more 50 fintech firms that are broadly supported by a relatively lower wage cost market and a large talent pool from Georgia Tech and other universities, has become the center for more than 70% of the nation's payment processing. In fact, the Atlanta metro area has been tagged with the nickname "Transaction Alley." A diverse number of fintech firms are headquartered there. The presence of major fintech firms, such as NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), lured to relocate its headquarters from Ohio to Atlanta in 2009; First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC); and Global Payment Systems Inc. (NYSE: GPN), has helped to draw other fintech companies and encourage fintech startups in Atlanta.

WorldPay

WorldPay (NYSE: WP) provides in-store, online and mobile payment services, along with value-added services such as gift and merchant loyalty cards, and transaction security services. It also provides proprietary financial software solutions for businesses, with tools such as fraud and risk management, data and analytics, e-commerce and online gambling software solutions.

Kabbage Inc.

One of the major emerging fintech firms based in Atlanta is Kabbage Inc. The company offers an online funding platform to provide loans to small and medium-size businesses in amounts generally ranging from $2,000 to $250,000, with fully automated online application processing. Founded in 2008, the company's ability to offer a streamlined, online loan service for businesses that advertise approvals in minutes has made it a major disruptor in relation to traditional lenders. The company also licenses its online platform to other financial firms. Kabbage was valued at $1.3 billion as of 2017.

FX Bridge Technologies Corporation

An innovative provider of support services for capital markets, FX Bridge Technologies Corporation offers software solutions to companies engaged in the business of forex trading. Its key product is ProTrader Plus, a white-label trading platform for the use of forex brokerages, dealers and traders. The company, founded in 1999, serves a broad customer base that includes liquidity providers in the foreign exchange market, managed account traders, and institutional and retail traders.

Cardlytics Inc.

Cardlytics Inc. offers consumer purchase data intelligence software to financial institutions, retailers and advertisers. The company's various products offer businesses the ability to analyze consumer spending, both in-store and online, in various buying categories, enabling advertisers and companies to more directly target likely potential customers. In addition, it provides an online advertising platform designed to connect with consumers through online and mobile banking software applications.

Greensky

Greensky (NASDAQ: GSKY) is a loan servicer, and program administrator of its proprietary software, that aims to link contractors, their customers and banks. These loans are mostly in home improvement, solar, retail and heath care, though their offerings are scalable. Since their inception in 2006, Greensky has financed more than $13 billion of commerce for 1.9 million customers. The company employs over 1,000 and had $325.9 million in revenue in 2017.

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