Barry McCarthy Shares Deluxe’s Digital Transformation and Atlanta’s Innovation in Fintech at Insights on Leadership Event
Every year, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) hosts the Delta Air Lines Insights on Leadership speaker series inviting Atlanta’s most impactful and key business leaders for prominent discussion.
MAC President and CEO Katie Kirkpatrick recently sat down with Deluxe President and CEO Barry McCarthy at Deluxe’s Fintech Innovation Center. McCarthy is an entrepreneur, internet, cloud and mobile payments pioneer, named to his position with Deluxe in November 2018. He is also the author of Small Business Revolution, How Owners and Entrepreneurs can Succeed and executive producer of Deluxe’s Emmy-nominated Small Business Revolution show on Hulu and Prime Video.
During his time as president and CEO, McCarthy has led the transformation of Deluxe from a legacy check and business forms printer into a “Trusted Payments and Business Technology” company, processing nearly $3 trillion in annual payment volume, or roughly 15% of U.S. GDP.
McCarthy highlighted that this is only the beginning, and the company will further strive to become a forward-thinking company with strategies and full departments committed to being digital-first.
“Early next year our payments business will be the company’s largest [department] which is a pretty big milestone for a company that is 107 years old,” said McCarthy. “For the first time ever, we are going to have a business that is larger than our legacy business.”
Deluxe has 4 million active small business customers and more than 4,000 clients from financial institutions. Their network also includes approximately 300 distributor franchises serving local businesses.
“We’ve got a fantastic digital AP business, digital AR business and a HR Payroll business for small businesses that we support with 150,000 already accepting credit cards,” McCarthy said.
The company was founded in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1915 and in the years following transformed from a check printer into a payments and data company. Deluxe opened a new technology center in Sandy Springs joining the metro Atlanta region’s cluster of Fintech companies.
“We knew we were going to become a payment data company which means we had to be at the payment’s capital of the world. [Atlanta] is truly the Fintech capital of the world,” McCarthy said.
“At this very intersection [in metro Atlanta], about 80% of the world electronic payment transit companies are headquartered right here.”
In addition to location, McCarthy and the Deluxe team enjoyed access to a supportive higher education ecosystem as well as local and state governments here in Atlanta. Many schools in the University System of Georgia offer degree programs for students in Fintech which opens doors for more jobs and expansion at Deluxe.
“The University System of Georgia has gone so far to create a whole set of capabilities and degrees that support Fintech,” said McCarthy. “So, graduates are coming out of the entire system with capabilities ready for companies like ours.”
When asked about the biggest risk he has taken in his career, McCarthy refers to becoming CEO and president of Deluxe.
“I [was] at a pretty good spot, I wasn’t looking but [open] to opportunities,” said McCarthy. “It would’ve been a lot easier just to stay where I was, but I [wanted] the opportunity to do something and create lasting change.”
McCarthy and the Deluxe team are looking forward to the future and seeing the exciting events ahead with partnerships, especially with Porsche. Deluxe will have their own company racecar in a global auto race coming soon to Atlanta.
“We are the inaugural spot for Porsche Carrera Cup North America which is a global auto race series taking place this September here in Atlanta,” McCarthy said.
For more information on the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Delta Air Lines Insights on Leadership, visit