Wachovia signs with Visa and NYCE; drops Star network

Wachovia signs with Visa and NYCE; drops Star network

Wachovia Corporation has selected Visa USA and First Data subsidiary NYCE to run its debit card and ATM transaction businesses. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Wachovia will stop using Concord EFS' Star network for online debit and ATM processing. In a statement, Concord said it was notified by the bank of its intention to move its network access business prior to the expiration data of its current contract. Concord says it does not expect its earnings in 2003 or 2004 to be affected by this event due to the continuing payment obligations contained in Wachovia's contract.

Visa's Debit Processing Service (DPS) will now handle the Wachovia's offline signature-based debit processing while Visa's Interlink subsidiary will manage PIN point-of-sale transactions. NYCE will handle the bank's ATM volume.

Wachovia says it chose Visa and NYCE after an 18 month review of its debit and ATM card businesses following its merger with First Union. Bob McGee, chief financial officer for Wachovia's general bank division, comments: "We knew that once we completed the First Union/Wachovia merger we would need to reissue our ATM and debit cards because the two companies had different network relationships and different logos on the backs of their cards."

The bank expects to finalise and implement the new network arrangements over the next several months and says cardholders can expect new cards featuring the Interlink, NYCE and Plus logos by mid-2004.

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