First Data and European Banks Team Up to Expand Eufiserv's European Interbank Processing Business
Brussels, May 21, 2008 (www.AllPayNews.com) — First Data Corp., a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services announced today that it has signed an agreement with EUFISERV and its fifteen shareholders, which includes twelve European banks and banking organizations, with the intention of expanding and developing the European inter-bank processing network that is managed by EUFISERV.
EUFISERV, which is based in Brussels, provides inter-bank switching of Point of Sale (POS) and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions, including authorisation, clearing, settlement and value-added services to payment card issuers, acquirers and payment schemes. EUFISERV together with First Data will further develop these services which will be compliant with the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) framework requirements.
The company will also be well positioned to service a new class of "Payment Institutions" created by the European Commission's Payment Services Directive (PSD). Connecting the existing networks of EUFISERV and First Data will create the opportunity for customers to access more than 74,000 ATMs, 1.5 million POS merchants and to reach more than 165 million debit and credit card accounts in Europe.
First Data is a leading payments processor, with a strong presence in Europe and operations around the globe. Prior to First Data's investment, EUFISERV was owned mainly by retail banks and banking organizations from twelve European countries and by the European Savings Banks Group. EUFISERV will provide support for ATM and POS transactions from multiple payment schemes, delivered through a single connection to create efficiencies for users. The reach of the network, which is expected to grow rapidly, will give a major boost to the creation of SEPA initiatives by making inter-operability possible between previously closed markets and increasing the choice of interbank providers.
EUFISERV formerly operated an ATM card scheme that provides cardholders from member banks with access to cash at more than 60,000 ATMs in nine European countries. In line with SEPA requirements, the EUFISERV card scheme has already been spun off into a separate company, EUFISERV Payments SCRL. Upon closing of the transaction, First Data will acquire a 50 percent equity stake in EUFISERV's interbank processing business, which will be renamed to reflect the new joint ownership structure.
David Yates, President of First Data's international operations, commented: "First Data has been very active as a processor for both issuers and acquirers of a wide variety of card and consumer finance products. The European payments market is changing rapidly and, with SEPA, we are now seeing a redefinition of national and international transactions as European domestic transactions. This provides us with the opportunity to switch transactions, on an integrated basis, between our clients and other issuers or acquirers, to the benefit of all parties."
First Data's investment is actively supported by shareholders from the retail banking sector in twelve European markets and will assist EUFISERV in meeting the challenges of this changing environment. EUFISERV and First Data share the view that banks are looking for new options and they fully expect the services they can provide together to prove attractive and relevant in this new environment. As part of the transaction EUFISERV's products and services will be promoted through the First Data sales-force across Europe.
Chris De Noose, Managing Director of the European Savings Bank Group and also Chairman of the Board of Directors for EUFISERV added: "EUFISERV has deep knowledge of interbank processing which is complemented by First Data's extensive European footprint and great payments processing history. A strategic partnership between our two organizations positions us to grow our business strongly in the new market conditions created by SEPA."
Ernst Verbeek, currently Vice President, Interbank Processing Services at First Data, and Petter N. Johansen, currently Managing Director at EUFISERV, will be appointed by the shareholders, as Managing Director and Chairman respectively. A new Board of EUFISERV will be made up of the Chairman, the Managing Director and representatives from the original EUFISERV shareholders and First Data.
Completion of the transaction is conditional upon satisfaction of customary closing conditions, which is expected within the next few weeks.
EUFISERV offers the issuers of 118m cards access to cash at more than 60,000 ATMs in nine European markets. EUFISERV provides processing services to its users for switching POS and ATM card payment transactions on EUFISERV and all other payment card brands. EUFISERV is a Brussels-based company owned by retail banks from nine European countries and by the European Savings Banks Group. Its mission is to develop, maintain and operate international payment services for the financial industry. More on www.EUFISERV.com.
About First Data
First Data is a global technology leader in information commerce. The company processes transaction data of all kinds, harnesses the power of that data and delivers innovations in secure infrastructure, intelligence and insight for its customers. With operations in 37 countries, First Data serves more than 5.4 million merchant locations and more than 2,000 card issuers and their customers. It powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses around the world to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. The company's portfolio of services and solutions includes merchant transaction processing services; credit, debit, private-label, gift, payroll and other prepaid card offerings; fraud protection and authentication solutions; electronic check acceptance services through TeleCheck; as well as Internet commerce and mobile payment solutions. The company's STAR Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at 2.1 million ATM and retail locations. Through First Data's centers of excellence, such as security, analytics, customer loyalty and mobile payments, it offers data-driven commerce solutions for customers around the globe. For more information, visit www.firstdata.com.
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