Elavon, a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (USB) and a leading global payment solutions provider, has opened a mobile innovation center at its Atlanta headquarters to focus on merchant-based mobile solutions.
The center is expected to add at least 50 jobs in the next 12 to 18 months. Known internally as "The Grove," the center is focused on harvesting innovation around new technology and product development for mobile payments and expanding on Elavon's existing mobile solutions, including VirtualMerchant Mobile in the U.S. and MobileMerchant in Europe. It will also allow Elavon to leverage additional third party relationships similar to the recently announced distribution and back-end processing agreement with NCR to market NCR Silver through Elavon's existing sales channels.
The Grove will be managed by a full-service, cross-functional team and will operate as a separate business unit with offices within Elavon's headquarters. The team's focus will be to create new technologies that are compatible with Elavon's full scope of payments and security solutions. As mobile payments become more acceptable by merchants and customers alike, technology must keep pace with the needs on both sides of the transaction.
The Grove is yet another example of the commitment of Elavon's parent company, U.S. Bancorp, to be an industry leader in banking and payment innovation. U.S. Bancorp's investment in innovation has resulted in the company being fast - and often first - to market with new mobile features and functionality.
"Our focus will be on new technologies that enable merchants to accept payments via mobile devices while also ensuring the ease of use and safety of the transaction from the customer's perspective," said Marianne Johnson, executive vice president of global product and innovation for Elavon. "Payments are moving closer to the concept of the mobile wallet housed on a smart phone or other device."
Elavon has begun hiring for the center and is seeking professionals with skills including mobile product development, systems design and architecture, operations and deployment, mobile sales engineering and quality assurance. "As a separate business, The Grove will have the feel of a start-up operation, but within the stability of an established, global brand," Johnson said. "We are looking for skilled professionals who will thrive in a fast-paced environment within a rapidly-changing industry."
According to the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), Atlanta is a global hub for financial technology, with annual revenue exceeding $20 billion from more than 70 companies focused on the payments industry. "As a center for both technology and talent in our industry, Atlanta is poised for even greater growth around mobile payments," Johnson said.
Elavon recognizes that mobile payment needs may be different for large vs. small merchants and the company is poised ahead of the competition when it comes to mobile payment solutions. The Grove will research and develop new products and technology that meet the needs of merchants at each end of that spectrum. For larger merchants, these technologies will be developed to be compatible with Elavon's full scope of payments and security solutions. For smaller merchants, these new technologies will allow broader options for accepting payments as well as the enhanced security that comes with Elavon's full suite of security features.