Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Credicard & Elavon Announce Alliance to Establish a Merchant Payment Solutions Company in Brazil

By Holly Lytle

Joint venture to provide merchant advantages and boost market competition with the arrival of the first global merchant acquiring player

São Paulo, Atlanta – December 8, 2010 –– Credicard, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Citi, and Elavon, a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) and leading global payments provider, have signed a binding agreement to establish a joint venture creating a merchant services company that will offer a full suite of payment solutions to the Brazilian marketplace.

With robust growth in consumption and credit volume in Brazil, the new company will compete in a growing market that demands scale, experience, service quality and innovation. Combined with Credicard’s market expertise and brand recognition, Elavon will deliver a robust processing platform, financial efficiency, innovative payment solutions and secure point-of-sale devices for mobile acceptance environments.

“Since 2005, Brazil’s credit card market has grown at a 20-plus percent rate annually,” said Mike Passilla, President and CEO of Elavon. “We are excited to further drive this market growth by combining our best-in-class products, services and capabilities with Credicard’s market leadership position to offer new operational efficiencies and highly reliable solutions for small and national-level merchants in Brazil.”

For Gustavo Marin, CEO of Citi Brazil, the joint-venture represents an important step in the Organization’s business strategy. “Citi has always been at the forefront in the development of Brazil’s financial industry. With the creation of this joint-venture, we advance even further our strategy in Brazil’s retail market, offering a new option for consumers, as well as businessmen and merchants and, consequently, strengthen our growing position in the consumer credit segment,” concludes Marin.

“Credicard has been in the cards market for over 40 years, and this is the right time for us to return to the acquiring market. This alliance will be further leveraged by Credicard’s processing and technological know-how, and will enable us to once again transform Brazil’s payment acceptance market,” said Leonel Andrade, president of Credicard. Leonel also highlighted the importance of Brazil for global players in this segment, which were able to enter the country after it opened up its acquiring market in the second half of the year, placing Brazil for the first time at par with the service level seen around the world.”

Elavon is a leading global acquirer with operations throughout Europe, as well as in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Supporting over one million merchants worldwide, Elavon is the number one payments provider to airlines and the second leading provider in the tourism and entertainment market, with specialized solutions for several other industries.

The new company will be branded as “Elavon” and will be supported with the launch of a sales force with national coverage, as well as in-market operations, technology and product resources.

Credicard (www.credicard.com.br)
Present in the Brazilian market for over 40 years, Credicard – administrator of Citi’s credit card portfolio, one of the largest credit card issuers in the world, – is synonymous of credit cards in Brazil and manages Diners Club International, Visa and MasterCard labels. In 2009, the brand expanded its expertise in the country’s payment means market to engage in financing operations in Brazil, creating a complete portfolio of credit solutions for consumers.

Elavon (www.elavon.com)
Elavon's Global Acquiring Solutions organization is a part of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) and provides end-to-end payment processing services to more than one million merchants in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Elavon markets solutions including credit and debit card processing, electronic check services, gift cards, dynamic currency conversion, multi-currency support, and cross-border acquiring through multiple alliance channels including financial institutions, trade associations and third party sales agents. Elavon’s suite of solutions is tailored to meet the needs of merchants in specialized markets such as small business, retail, hospitality/T&E, health care, education and the public sector.

Citi (www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com)
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

USB (www.usbank.com)
U.S. Bancorp, with $291 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2010, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,013 banking offices in 24 states and 5,323 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions.

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