By Teresa Wright – The Guardian PEI
It may simply appear as quiet office in a corner of the Atlantic Technology Centre in Charlottetown, but Carta Worldwide is doing some pretty exciting things.
Since setting up shop in P.E.I. last year, the payments processing company has hired over 12 staff members and expects to hire 30 or more employees by the end of 2016, thanks to a soon-to-be announced new banking client.
Marketing director Paul Brandner says the company is in a rapid growing phase, but is committed to expanding its operations in Prince Edward Island.
“We would love to hire Islanders, that’s our primary focus,” he said.
“It’s a lovely place, good people and very family-oriented.”
Recently, NDP Leader Mike Redmond publicly raised questions about Carta Worldwide, issuing a news release calling on Finance Minister Allen Roach to provide an update on the company’s success and whether it had reached its hiring projections.
In response, the company opened its doors to The Guardian for a tour of its Charlottetown office, including a visit to its environmentally controlled, secure technology racks in the bottom floor of the building.
Hundreds of little lights blinking through the racks revealed work being done in the company’s data centres all the way in Cyprus and Morocco, currently being filtered and processed through the office here in Charlottetown.
“We were looking for a place where we could have a data centre on Canadian soil. From a security perspective, large banks like the idea that their data is hosted in Canada,” Brandner explained.
“We want to stay in Canada if we’re going to start building a larger operation.”
The company was recruited to P.E.I. through Innovation P.E.I., but it was the security and technological capabilities of the Atlantic Technology Centre that sealed the deal for the company deciding to make P.E.I. its Canadian home.
Carta did receive a $10,000 grant for equipment from the provincial government when it opened its doors in September 2014. At that time, government also said Carta would be eligible for up to $300,000 in labour subsidies if it met its hiring projections.
The company acknowledges it has received assistance from the provincial government in setting up in P.E.I., but says this has allowed it to grow its staff to over 12 in 2015 and plans an even bigger hiring spree in the new year when their new client is revealed.
“It’s an exciting time for Carta Technology. We have leading-edge payments technology and Carta is very proud to be building that here and to be hosting and servicing North America from the Atlantic coast,” said Geoff Smith, director of information technology.
“We’ve been fortunate here, we have a great facility here, and Carta loves to be mobile payments and technology leaders and we’re doing it from here in Charlottetown.”
Carta Worldwide specializes in digital payments and transaction processing for prepaid, debit, credit and loyalty cards with clients that include Visa, MasterCard, Apple and Vodafone.