Georgia’s Tech Firms Need Level Playing Field Globally: Retired Global Payments CEO

Editor’s note: This article was first published in Global Atlanta, an online news publication devoted to revealing the city’s ties with the world and helping local companies navigate the global economy.

Jeff Sloan may be recently retired, but he’s still fighting to keep Georgia globally competitive in an industry that employs tens of thousands of people across the state.

The former Global Payments Inc. CEO has been urging Congress to take action to ensure the U.S. remains a “net exporter” of financial technology and payments innovation.

Since immediate tax write-offs for research and development expenditures expired in January 2022, the U.S. has been disadvantaged by subsidies in Europe and elsewhere around the world, Mr. Sloan said at this week’s Fintech South conference in Atlanta.

Much like it does for domestic manufacturers, the U.S. should consider ways to help tech companies overcome potential trade barriers, he suggested.

Global Payments has 7,000 employees in Georgia and 18,000 around the United States. Across its 25,000 global team members, the company counts 6,000 “technologists” who simply need a “level playing field” to continue delivering innovations that put the U.S. on the leading edge, Mr. Sloan said just after being inducted into the Georgia Fintech Hall of Fame.

“All we’re asking for is an equal chance in our ability to build the businesses that we know we need,” Mr. Sloan said during a conversation with Technology Association of Georgia CEO Larry Williams. “Those people should not be disadvantaged because they’re Americans or working in America.”

Living up to its name, Global Payments had made key acquisitions in recent years that have expanded its geographic reach and market penetration in key segments.

And it hasn’t had to look far. Its latest major deal, a $4 billion purchase of Atlanta’s EVO Payments in 2022, enhanced Global Payments’ exposure to key partners in Mexico and many other countries.