Visa USA and First Data have settled a legal dispute, pending since 2002, over the processing of Visa payment card transactions.
Visa first filed suit against First Data in April 2002 in a bid to block the expansion of processing credit card transactions through First Data Net. In August that year Visa added a ban on all private arrangements to authorise or to clear and settle transactions outside of VisaNet.
In November 2002, First Data filed a counter suit against Visa, alleging anti-competitive practices.
Specific terms of the settlement are confidential, but in today's statement First Data says it has agreed to transfer private arrangements between itself and Visa member financial institutions onto the VisaNet payment processing system.
Visa says it will provide "financial support" to pursue mutual business opportunities and cost cutting initiatives with First Data.
Commenting on the settlement, Ric Duques, First Data CEO, says: "By resolving this matter, both First Data and Visa can move forward and work together to create new business opportunities for all stakeholders in the payments business.
"Card issuers, merchants and cardholders alike can expect more focus on creating choice, convenience and innovation in the payments marketplace."