First Data wins card processing consolidation mandate from Italy's Unicard

Source: First Data

First Data, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing services, announced today that it has signed a five year processing agreement with Unicard SpA, a cards unit affiliated to Unipol Banca. Unipol Banca is owned and controlled by Unipol Gruppo Finanziario (UGF), the fourth largest insurance group in Italy, which announced its intention to consolidate the group's entire card business into Unicard.

Unicard manages the acquiring business of COOP, a leading Italian retailer, including COOP's Visa co-branded and private label credit cards, and is currently undergoing MasterCard certification. First Data will support Unicard's transformation into what will become UGF's dedicated cards business, responsible for all merchant acquiring and card issuing processing for credit, debit and prepaid cards for the group.

Services provided by First Data cover a large part of the value chain and range from innovative front-end services in card application management, transaction processing, authorisations, clearing and settlement, to providing card account management and sophisticated fraud management solutions for merchants.

"We believe that First Data has the breadth of services and experience we need and is also committed to supporting our Italian group with local market insight," said Dario Tagnochetti, general manager of Unicard. "We are exploring several new and innovative products with First Data, our payments services provider of choice."

Marcello Baricordi, managing director of First Data in Italy, said, "Unipol and Unicard have entrusted First Data to support their strategic move, which confirms our reputation as a world-class service provider in Italy, a market where payments services outsourcing is gaining momentum."

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