By: Stephanie Scott
Photos by: Lexie Newhouse
People often refer to Atlanta as “Hotlanta” or “The ‘A’”, but in the world of Fintech, the city’s nickname is “Transaction Alley”. Seven out of 10 transactions flow through Atlanta–with 50 billion transactions per year and grossing 80 billion dollars in revenue.
At last week’s “The State of Fintech” discussion, a collaboration between several units at Georgia State University, financial tech professionals gathered to discuss the current climate of Atlanta’s Fintech industry and touched on topics including blockchain, cybersecurity, and opportunities in Fintech.
“This [Atlanta] is the Silicon Valley of Fintech,” says Steve Riddick, the former Head of Gaming Product Management for the Fortune 1000 e-commerce company, Global Payments, and one of the panelists in the discussion.
The other panelists included two Georgia State alumni, Denise McCurdy–who is a Robinson College Doctoral candidate and the founder of the boutique consulting company Grove Gates, LLC that councils large enterprise customers regarding tech and data strategy–and Christian Zimmerman, the founder of Qoins Inc., an app that rounds up transactions from users’ linked bank accounts and sends the spare change to their respective debtors. The moderator was Sarah Owen, of TSYS, who has worked in Fintech for 20 years, specializing in Product Development.
Fintech is the technology that we use to make purchases and move money throughout the global economy. The five major sectors of Fintech are the payment industry, digital and mobile banking, peer-to-peer lending, wealth management, and insurance. Within those sectors are professional subcultures that drive the Fintech industry–software development, client services and business development, cybersecurity, data science, and new products.
Blockchain has proven to be a major resource in Fintech. McCurdy defines blockchain as a “database of data buckets that carry information that is arranged and distributed.”
One problem that the Fintech industry is facing is that there is a shortage of talent. “For every Fintech job in Atlanta, there are 4 to 5 positions that are unfilled,” said Owen. However, for students who will soon be entering the workforce, that means tons of career opportunities in the industry..
Zimmerman advised students to “find resources, learn as you go, and connect yourself to those you can learn from.”
Dr. Jim Senn, the founding director of Georgia FinTech Academy, a talent development initiative that will power the future of the global economy, listed what students need to get into the Fintech industry–basic skills in coding, courses that concentrate on the Fintech industry, knowledge of the industry and experience.
Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business offers Foundations of Fintech (FI 4460), Banking and Fintech (FI 4470), and Financial Technologies (CIS 4002) to students who are interested in a career in Fintech. In addition, the physical hub of the Georgia Fintech Academy–a collaboration between Georgia’s fintech industry and the 26 public institutions of the University System of Georgia– will be located downtown on Georgia State’s campus on the 1st floor of 55 Park Place Building.
“The sky’s the limit for Fintech in Atlanta,” says Riddick.
Interested in seeing the VIDEO RECAP? Check here to view footage from this informative ENI event.
This program was a collaboration between:
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute
The Department of Computer Information Systems
Mack Robinson College of Business