Elavon to announce metro Atlanta tech center, jobs

A metro Atlanta financial technology firm plans a new innovation center here to dream up the next generation of ways people pay for goods and services, according to documents and a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Elavon, a subsidiary of Minneapolis banking giant U.S. Bank, is expected to announce Friday it will create a mobile technology think tank for cellular phone-based applications and other mobile payments platforms, a document obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows.

The move is expected to create about 50 jobs in metro Atlanta, the person said. Elavon also will make a public push to keep talent from Georgia’s research universities in the state as well as recruit tech talent from around the globe. Elavon is also expected to announce a future innovation center in Ireland.

Elavon is one of the largest payment processors in the United States. The company has about 3,600 employees worldwide.

An Elavon spokeswoman declined to comment.

Georgia is already a hub of financial technology. According to recent data from the Technology Association of Georgia, two-thirds of the 135 billion payment card transactions around the world in 2011 crossed over the systems of financial technology companies with major operations in Georgia.

Georgia is home to more than 90 financial technology companies, including First Data, Global Payments, NCR and TSYS.

Mobile payments is emerging as a major technological battleground and place where multinational corporations and even startups are grasping to develop new ways to pay for products and services.

AT&T Mobility, the telecomm giant based in metro Atlanta, is part of a joint venture for a smartphone-based mobile wallet called Isis, and Sandy Springs-based First Data is a partner with Google on its mobile wallet system.

Tino Mantella, president and CEO of the TAG, was not privy to the details but said a new payments innovation center would be a coup for the state.

“I think it would be great news to continue to add to our (financial technology) dominance,” Mantella said.

The move also builds on recent economic development wins for the state. General Motors is said to be placing an technology development center at a former UPS complex in Roswell, and Panasonic Automotive Systems opened a research and development complex in Midtown late last year.

In November, an executive said Atlanta is also on AT&T’s shortlist for a new Foundry location, referring to the company’s collaboration centers where engineers and executives conceive new technologies and quickly bring them to market.