By Jimmy Magahern
The Airpark’s technology giants may not worry Facebook or Twitter, but these companies are built to last.
The Scottsdale Airpark is becoming known as an attractive hub for technology companies, supported by operating costs a fraction of Silicon Valley’s and growing live-work-play developments perfectly suited to young tech workers.
But many of the Airpark’s leading tech companies operate virtually unseen by the public, toiling in unsexy fields like payment solutions, cloud supply chain services and hotel reservations software.
That doesn’t make them any less vital to the corridor’s economy, however – and in many cases, their dominance over relatively humdrum fields only guarantees their sustainability. You won’t find a Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest among the Airpark’s tech leaders. But these heavy players in tech’s less-flashy peripheries may be around long after the latest social media disrupters vanish.
In June, Scottsdale’s Early Warning Services rolled out a new mobile app for Zelle, its person-to-person (P2P) payments network geared to take on other mobile payment services such as Venmo (owned by PayPal) and Square Cash. Like its competitors, Zelle allows for money to be sent from one bank account to another using only a recipient’s email address or mobile number – the payer doesn’t have to know the bank account information of the payee to transfer cash.
Zelle’s advantage lies in its wide network of participating financial institutions – 30 to begin with – and its integration into their existing mobile banking apps. Originally created as clearXchange by a group of banks led by Bank of America, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, Zelle will now be available to more than 86 million U.S. banking consumers.
All of which puts Early Warning Services, founded in 1995 as a service that generated alerts for identity protection providers, in a sweet spot. The mobile P2P market is expected to grow to over $300 billion by 2020, and Early Warning Services, through its partnerships with the majority of trusted bank brands, is positioned to bring person-to-person digital payments out of a niche Millennial thing and into middle America.
“This is about far more than splitting the bar bill,” said Early Warning president Lou Anne Alexander in a recent Bloomberg interview. “This is really about moving P2P from Millennial to mainstream.”
$16 billion: Total in bank transactions processed on the Zelle network during the first quarter of this year.
Early Warning Services
Industry: Payment and risk
Headquarters: 16552 N. 90th St., Scottsdale