TSYS (TSS) has purchased an initial 34% equity interest in China UnionPay. TSYS will increase its stake to 45% pending final regulatory approval in early 2006.

America-based TSYS is one of the world's largest companies for outsourced payment services, offering a broad range of issuer- and acquirer-processing technologies that support consumer-finance, credit, debit and prepaid services for financial institutions and retail companies in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions.

"We are excited about the establishment of this partnership because TSYS is considered a leader in the world of payments," says Xinghai Huang, vice president of the international services division from CUP. "We have worked closely toward this objective for several years. We look forward to working with TSYS to continuously strengthen our partnership and to jointly promote the development of the Chinese bankcard industry."

CUP is sanctioned by the People's Bank of China, China's central bank, and has become one of the world's largest and fastest-growing payments networks. CUP has 166 member banks, and is responsible for operating the only national bankcard network to enable and promote the acceptance of bankcards in China. More than 875 million general purpose bankcards carry the CUP brand.

CUP Data currently provides transaction processing, disaster recovery and other services for banks and bankcard issuers in China. In its first two years of business, CUP Data has signed numerous processing agreements for several of China's largest financial institutions.

"This relationship brings together the largest bankcard processor in China and the world's largest credit-card processor. TSYS' global leadership in the cards industry, combined with CUP Data's market knowledge and outstanding reputation, creates a partnership that will benefit card issuers with market leading technology and service delivery," says TSYS President M. Troy Woods. "Jointly we will implement innovative solutions that will make the Chinese cards market one of the most dynamic in the world."

"TSYS' ownership in CUP Data fulfills a major objective in TSYS' international growth strategy in this region," says Gaylon Jowers Jr., executive vice president of international business for TSYS. "This combination will focus on delivery of leading payments technology and value that issuers require to capture the phenomenal growth in the Chinese payments market."

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