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The American Transaction Processors Coalition (ATPC) wasted no time in getting in-front of legislators at the state capitol in Atlanta during the 2016 Georgia General Assembly. The ATPC arranged a lunch-and-learn with the Georgia Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee less than two weeks into the session.
Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), Chairman of the committee, requested the meeting to ensure his colleagues and other key General Assembly members knew the important role the industry plays in Georgia’s economy and how it continues to be an integral component of its international reputation. There were 21 legislators in attendance, including members from the Senate Economic Development, and other committees in the House, with Leadership from both chambers. Six officials outside of the legislature participated as well, including representatives from Governor Deal’s staff, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and the Georgia Bankers Association.
H. West Richards, Executive Director of the ATPC; Barry McCarthy, Executive Vice President of Network and Security Solutions at First Data; Bob Skiba, Executive Vice President at InComm; Steve Karp, President of Small Business at WorldPay and Brad Fauss, President and CEO of the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association presented to the group. The session was intended to inform legislators – no matter their awareness level of the industry and its impact – about how the payments process works, and what this vital Georgia industry needs to succeed in the future. The ATPC and their representatives also sought to begin a dialogue about the creation of a Georgia General Assembly Study Committee to address these needs – much like what was done with the film industry a few years ago, which led to significant expansion of that sector economy.
Following the meeting, Sen. Beach introduced a joint resolution of the House and Senate at the Georgia General Assembly, to create a Study Committee to evaluate the economic impact and benefits of providing incentives to the FinTech and Payments Processing Industry. The ATPC-organized “Payments 101” briefing to the House and Senate Economic Development committees provided critical context and an introduction to this uniquely Georgia industry that employs more than 40,000 people locally. According to the resolution, the committee will study the current conditions, needs, issues, and problems associated with maintaining Georgia’s leadership within the industry, which is becoming increasingly global as countries and states compete to attract transaction and payment companies.
The resolution currently has four co-sponsors including Sens. Bruce Thompson (R-White), Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), and Elena Parent (D-Atlanta). The resolution passed the Senate Economic Development Committee unanimously earlier this month, and the full-chamber before formal Crossover Day. Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah), chairman of the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee, is expected to drive the resolution on the House side, where the bill is being considered by the Rules Committee.
The Coalition thanks these state senators for their leadership and looks forward to further conversations as the resolution moves through the General Assembly. The resolution can be read in full here. View a full photo gallery from the lunch-and-learn event here.