It’s no secret that Atlanta has become a global destination for financial and payments technology, and our region has even earned the nickname “Transaction Alley.” Fintech companies in Georgia generate annual revenues of more than $72 billion, placing us third in the nation behind only New York and California, and employ more than 30,000 people. It’s an industry sector targeted for economic growth in our region, and Invest Atlanta continues to support various public-private efforts to achieve this.
For example, last week I had the honor of representing the City of Atlanta at P20 in London, a global conference for the payments industry. This inaugural event brought together 20 of the most influential leaders in the global payments industry along with top UK and U.S. government officials and regulators to highlight the importance of payments and fintech to the world economy. It’s part of a transatlantic partnership between Atlanta and London, and next year’s P20 event will be held here in Atlanta.
One of the most compelling topics presented at the conference was financial inclusion, which means providing a way for more individuals and businesses to gain access to useful and affordable financial products and services. It’s estimated that 2 billion working-age adults globally have no access to the types of formal financial services delivered by regulated financial institutions. The discussion at P20 focused on how payments systems can accelerate financial inclusion in emerging economies and provide accessible, affordable and secure payments for all from both a technology and policy perspective. Many Atlanta companies are at the center of this issue, working to address the challenge.
At the community level, Invest Atlanta is working to address financial inclusion in the city. Earlier this year, IA helped to open the Westside Financial Center, which offers access to affordable financial services and products, one-on-one financial counseling and homeownership education in a part of the city where up to 75 percent of residents are unbanked or underbanked. Providing equal access to tools like bank accounts and strategies for savings is vital to increasing economic opportunity in the city. I am very proud of the efforts we are making with more to come.