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First Data and WestLB Launch New Business to Provide Card Acceptance for Retailers in Germany and Across Europe


FRANKFURT, Germany . - First Data, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing services, has signed a partnership agreement with WestLB and will launch a new business, called First Merchant Solutions, to provide card acceptance services for retail custom-ers in Germany and across Europe.

As part of this new venture, WestLB, a German regional state bank with a strong European presence, will provide the licenses and payment services infrastructure while First Data will provide a compre-hensive range of merchant acquiring services.

The creation of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is a central factor in simplifying the regulatory, commercial and technological environment to benefit international merchants, service providers and acquirers. Against this background, the retail sector has needed a valid, cross-border card accep-tance agreement that enables retailers to benefit from greater efficiency, more competitive pricing and the assurance of settlement and payment flow to any desired account within the SEPA region.

“First Merchant Solutions embodies our efforts to fulfil the retail sector’s market needs, which have been evolving in Europe as a result of SEPA,” said Steffen Kowalski, a member of WestLB group’s executive management team. “With this cooperation, First Data’s acquiring solutions will be offered in Germany as well as 37 other countries and territories across Europe.”

“WestLB is one of the leading regional state banks providing payment services and the ideal partner for our offering,” said Carlos Gómez-Sáez, managing director of First Merchant Solutions. “The busi-ness will also draw on First Data’s extensive payments experience in Europe and worldwide reputation as a provider of innovative payment solutions to merchants.”

As a result of the agreement, merchants will benefit from First Data and WestLB’s extensive payments experience and international expertise.


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