‘Kill the check’ company expands with new Roswell HQ | Crain's Atlanta

‘Kill the check’ company expands with new Roswell HQ

Drew Edwards, CEO of Roswell-based Ingo Money, sits in the cafe area of the company's new headquarters. | Photo by Richard Lawson

A Roswell company seeking to kill the paper check seems to be making inroads on that quest.

Ingo Money now is putting the final touches on a new 24,000-square-foot headquarters, double what it had previously, to handle growth in its technology that replaces the check with digital push payments. Ingo moved into the space Nov. 13.

The company's bigger office follows a deal announced in late October with OnDeck, one of the largest online lenders to small businesses. OnDeck  is using Ingo’s push-payment service technology to fund loans to Visa small business debit cards.

The deal and the move puts Ingo more firmly in the growing on-demand economy. According to Chantilly, Va.-based research and consulting firm BIA/Kelsey, on-demand spending is expected to reach about $57 billion by year’s end. The firm estimated that the total market value for the on-demand industry last year was $34 billion.

Despite the growing on-demand economy, $22 trillion in checks are still written each year, according to PYMNTS.com, an information platform for the payments industry. An index PYMNTS.com did in collaboration with Ingo shows that consumers rate the paper check as the worst possible disbursement method.

Drew Edwards, Ingo’s chief executive officer, said the on-demand economy is driving the need to have money available as soon as it’s received ­— for businesses and consumers.

“We’re trying to kill the check,” he said.

The company doesn’t disclose revenue figures. But revenue has more than doubled over the past three years into the tens of millions, according to Ingo.

Ingo focused initially on digitizing checks for consumers. They would get a check, use Ingo’s mobile app and see the money appear in minutes. A consumer could push the money to whatever account they wanted — credit card, debit card, bills.

According to Edwards, Ingo’s business has shifted to working with companies digitally pushing payments to end users instead of a sending a check.

Edwards said it costs $3 to $10 to produce a check. But whether or not a business saves money by switching to digital transactions isn’t a paramount consideration in the on-demand economy of instant money.

“It’s not a cost discussion anymore,” Edwards said. “It’s more about competitors and what they are doing.”

Millennials are a key factor in the on-demand economy. According to the 2016 National Technology Readiness Survey by research firm Rockbridge, nearly 50 percent of the on-demand consumers fall in the 18 to 34 age group.

That’s the group Ingo is also trying to attract to its workforce with the new headquarters, drawing them to the suburbs with wide open space, a deck, beer and other amenities.

“The typical Silicon Valley stuff,” Edwards said. “Our old space was like a bank.”

November 28, 2017 - 2:26pm