First Data is partnering with Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) to create a joint venture to provide merchant acquiring services for Italian merchants, including the technical and commercial management of point-of-sale payments transactions.
The agreement further extends First Data's reach in the Italian markets. In January the US firm acquired the credit card business unit of direct bank Fineco, including software, employees and other processing capabilities used in the servicing of Fineco's cardholder accounts.
Pamela Patsley, president of First Data International, says the new relationship with BNL builds on the firm's presence in the Italian card market: "Together, we have a great opportunity to change the market dynamics in Italy, improving processes, enhancing customer service and leveraging scale and expertise to the benefit of merchants across Italy."
The transaction is subject to the approval by Italian regulatory boards and is expected to be operating in the third quarter 2005.