The largest payments and financial services innovation event, Money 20/20, descended this week on Las Vegas for leaders in commerce, retail, mobile, and more to convene on a topic we all have a stake in — the future of money. And amongst those 10,000+ attendees were about 1,000 from the state of Georgia.
That’s right, almost 10 percent of Money 20/20 participants hailed from “Transaction Alley”, the name coined from the fact that 70 percent of the country’s transactions are processed in Atlanta. The city and state are also a burgeoning financial technology hub, thanks in large part to programs like the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) Fintech incubator and educational programs like Georgia State Business School’s Fintech Lab.
But staying on top requires innovation, a fact that the leading financial services companies in Atlanta are not hiding from. In fact, at this year’s Money 20/20 conference, five established Georgia financial services companies “adopted” a fintech startup, covering their costs of attending and connecting them to resources, mentors, or potential investors and clients.
“This initiative is important to TSYS because it’s Atlanta supporting Atlanta coming together as a united industry,” says Ahmad.
Ahmad is a relatively recent addition to TSYS, which is based outside of metro Atlanta in Columbus, Georgia. A company spokesperson says his team has been focused on increasing their presence in the Atlanta fintech community, opening an office in Midtown Atlanta earlier this year.
That innovation extended to their startup partner for Money 20/20. TSYS sponsored Trust Stamp, which provides an identity verification “trust stamp” (similar to a FICO score) based on publicly-available information like your social networks or e-commerce accounts.
“Ultimately, we chose Trust Stamp because we felt there would be mutual interest in gaining a better understanding of each other’s technologies and business,” says Ahmad. “Trust Stamp is focused on facial biometrics as an identity authentication and authentication is a key component of our business. It’s also an important area we’re focused on in the near term for our product roadmap.”
Trust Stamp’s co-founder and CEO Andrew Gowasack spoke to Hype earlier this year about the application of this “selfie” technology for the banking industry. He says the sponsorship by TSYS is further validation of their product.
“We were thrilled when one of the most revered financial companies in the state, with their decades of experience, offered to sponsor us because it validates we are addressing a critical need in the market,” says Gowasack.
All four startups are part of the ATDC Fintech program, which began in 2015 with a $1 million grant from another Atlanta-based payments company, WorldPay.
“I am extremely proud that all four of the startups “adopted” by Georgia’s established companies are members of the ATDC FinTech program. Since inception, the program has strived to curate world-class financial technology startups across a breadth of specialties in the space,” says Jeff Gapusan, ATDC’s Fintech Catalyst. “The strong public-private partnership ethos and generosity of our established companies underscores Atlanta’s commitment to the fintech ecosystem.”