Citigroup, US Bancorp Form Brazil Cards Venture

ATLANTA (AP) — Citigroup Inc. and U.S. Bancorp Inc., two of the biggest U.S. banks, have signed a joint venture deal to offer payment processing services for Brazil’s growing credit card market.

The new company, known as Elavon, will offer products including a new payment processing platform and mobile-ready merchant terminals for retailers, the companies said Wednesday.

The deal seeks to combine Citigroup’s dominance in Brazil’s cards market, through its Credicard subsidiary; with U.S. Bancorp’s global expertise in payments processing through its Elavon subsidiary.

Brazil’s consumer economy is heating up, and credit cards are becoming more popular there. Brazil’s credit card market has grown by 20 percent per year since 2005, the companies said.

Banks that collect payments through merchant terminals were barred from Brazil until the second half of this year, Credicard President Leonel Andrade said in a statement.

Credicard, based in Sao Paolo, has operated in Brazil for more than 40 years. It issues cards with Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club labels and other consumer credit products.

Elavon, based in Atlanta, provides payment processing for more than 1 million merchants in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Shares of New York’s Citigroup fell a penny to $4.61 in afternoon trading Wednesday while Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp gained 62 cents, or 2 .6 percent to $24.99.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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