Worldpay’s economic impact statement shows why civic leaders covet tech firms

By David Pendered

A report by Invest Atlanta on the projected economic impact of Worldpay’s move to Atlantic Station illustrates the reasons city leaders want more tech firms in the city.

Worldpay processing system

Worldpay chose Atlanta for its new U.S. headquarters. The company process more than 26 million financial transactions a day. Credit: worldpay.com

The jobs pay well and will add significantly to the city’s tax base. The products these employees create are of a high value, and the work process doesn’t create the environmental challenges of some other industries.

Worldpay is a global financial technology firm. It processes 26 million transactions a day in more than 120 currencies. It is adding 450 customers a day, according to its webpage.

The average wage is projected to be $125,246 for the 1,200-plus jobs that Worldpay expects to bring to the city.

The average wage is projected to be $65,064 for new indirect and induced employment that will be created to support the work of Worldpay.

The total price of new direct labor income associated with the Worldpay jobs is $507.4 million. The total price of new indirect labor income associated with the jobs created to support Worldpay is $180.4 million.

The new Worldpay jobs are expected to produce $788.5 million worth of services. The indirect jobs are expected to produce $418.7 million worth of goods and services.

In terms of state and local taxes, Worldpay is expected to pay a total of $37.7 million.

The state is to receive $14.6 million. The city of Atlanta is to receive $9.6 million. Fulton County is to receive $13.4 million; of note, Fulton County already receives taxes from Worldpay’s current headquarters in Sandy Springs.

IMPLAN-Worldpay

Invest Atlanta evaluated the projected economic impact of Worldpay’s relocation into Atlanta. Credit: Invest Atlanta

These figures are derived from a software system named IMPLAN. The system was developed and is now maintained by the Minnesota IMPLAN Group. It now is commonly used to determine the potential economic impact of new businesses or attractions, such as a sports facility.

The numbers illustrate why Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and other government leaders were so proud when Worldpay chose Atlanta for its new headquarters.

Worldpay could have gone elsewhere.

Worldpay’s relocation consultants had examined a number of other cities. Factors included operating cost, skilled workers, and business environment, according to a statement the city released when the site selection was announced.

Although metro Atlanta is often described as lacking in people equipped to work in high tech fields, the region evidently has an adequate supply of fintech workers.

As Reed noted in the Dec. 1 statement: “Today, our City is home to more than 40,000 payments processing jobs, strengthening our reputation as the technology capital of the Southeast. I am delighted that an industry leader like Worldpay has chosen to relocate its U.S. headquarters, and more than a thousand well-paid jobs, to the City of Atlanta.”

Two Atlanta lawyers who focus their practice on fintech say that Atlanta is well regarded for its pool of fintech workers.

“If companies want developers who have experience with payment processing, Atlanta has a lot going it,” said Roth Kehoe, an Atlanta partner with Hunton & Williams.

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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