First Data talks up Asia business

Source: First Data

First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC), a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services, today announced it has significantly expanded its presence in China and North Asia with a broader set of payment solutions to meet the dynamic demands of the payment services market.

First Data, with a fully operational data centre in Shanghai providing card and merchant processing solutions, serves four of China's five largest commercial banks, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China (Hong Kong), a subsidiary of Bank of China (BOC), Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) and Bank of Communications, plus other financial institutions in China and North Asia.

Following the recent software and service agreements signed with Bank of Communications (Hong Kong) and a card processing agreement to serve China's Ping An Bank, First Data is pleased to announce further expansion of its client base and a broader set of payment solutions in the North Asian region.

The new business relationships include:

Joined forces with the global player JCB:
Enhancing its VisionPLUS card processing system to support JCB issuance and acquiring, First Data will support JCB in its efforts to enable First Data's worldwide client base to issue JCB cards by increasing the reach and appeal of JCB's brand in the region.

"We are very pleased with our partnership with First Data, which has a global reputation for high-quality, customer-focused products and services," said Masahiro Omoto, executive vice president, head of Planning Department at JCB International Co., Ltd. "In addition to having delivered a quality product in a timely manner, we are also jointly developing new market entry opportunities."

A bank card conversion project for ICBC:
Using a full suite of First Data's VisionPLUS modules, ICBC will integrate the data source of its newly acquired bank in Hong Kong. First Data will provide ICBC the conversion to this enhanced platform and a quality solution with ongoing technical support and service.

Providing China banks with a near real-time fraud detection platform:
In addition to providing outsourcing services to banks in China, First Data further enhanced its offerings by providing on-line fraud detection capabilities through a partnership with aiCorp. First Data will be integrating aiCorp's RiskNet fraud detection system into its processing centre in Shanghai, making available the ability to monitor client transactions in near real-time and providing prompt notification of fraudulent account activity.

Partnering with Austin Logistics in offering risk solutions:

First Data will assimilate Austin Logistics' credit risk management analytic and business intelligence technologies into the financial processing systems it sells in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea.

"These new agreements and product offering expansion further solidify First Data's market position in this region and demonstrates our focus to provide a compelling suite of payment solutions to our clients," said Henry Tsuei, president of First Data China and North Asia. "In 2002, we established First Data's regional operations center in Shanghai, and within three years have become the leading payments processing and technology provider, greatly expanding our footprint within the region, and are well-positioned to serve the solid growth in the region."

First Data now serves 12 clients in the region, with a broad range of electronic payment solutions and processing services. Since the first bankcard was issued in China in 1985, the market was predicted to grow exponentially as consumer adoption of electronic payments and general-purpose consumer loans increases, and is expected to continue to grow as the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and other international events approach.

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