BAHRAIN, April 6, 2010 – Arab Financial Services (AFS), a leading provider of electronic payments and consumer finance outsourcing services in the Middle East, today announced an agreement with First Data Corporation , a global leader in electronic commerce and payment solutions, wherein AFS will leverage First Data’s global processing power to support its regional client base.
The agreement with First Data reinforces AFS’s commitment to bring world-class card processing solutions to its valued client base. AFS currently licenses First Data's Vision PLUS ® software to manage a portfolio of more than one million payment cards. Under the new agreement, AFS clients will have the opportunity to benefit from First Data’s strategic issuing and consumer finance solution, FirstVision™. FirstVision incorporates an enhanced version of Vision PLUS as well as a full range of associated operational and value-added services.
“AFS continually aims to provide its clients with industry-leading customer service and access to innovative and integrated solutions with the objective of helping them grow their business,” said Shankar Sharma, chief executive officer of Arab Financial Services. “First Data has the scale, resources, experience and processing focus to provide our clients with a continued high level of service during the transition as well as provide for their future growth. We are confident that this agreement is in the best interest of our clients.”
“We are delighted to reach this agreement to deliver processing services in support of Arab Financial Services’ clients, some of which are already using other services from First Data,” said Brian Quarrie, managing director, Middle East, First Data. “We look forward to ensuring continuity of service at the highest levels and to extending and deepening our relationships with these organisations over time.”
First Data’s scale and strength has enabled it to continue to invest through the current economic downturn, focusing on the development of FirstVision – a single solution that delivers consistent functionality and technology in support of banks and major retailers around the world. From data centres in Argentina, China and Germany, today FirstVision supports customers across Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
About Arab Financial Services Company B.S.C. (c)
AFS is the leading Arab company for electronic banking, personal payment instruments and related services. Established in 1984, AFS is in a strong financial position with backing from leading international financial institutions in the Arab world. The company pioneered the concept of outsourcing card processing in the region and was the first company to set-up an end-to-end state-of-the-art card-outsourcing environment in Bahrain. AFS is one of the largest payment card processors in the Middle East and North African regions. AFS is Principal Member of Visa and MasterCard payment associations and an authorized third party processor centre. Over 50 banks in the region are connected to AFS's online card management integrated solutions. AFS offers diverse services ranging from 'get-started' to fully-fledged ongoing card processing and related services, assisting banks to issue Visa and MasterCard branded cards to their customers through sponsorship card programs. AFS offers flexible and customized solutions to suit the specific requirements of financial institutions in the region, including full Arabic language functionality.
About First Data
First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of electronic payment. Whether the choice of payment is a gift card, a credit or debit card or a check, First Data securely processes the transaction and harnesses the power of the data to deliver intelligence and insight for millions of merchant locations and thousands of card issuers in 36 countries. For more information, visit www.firstdata.com .
Sunayana Kripalani, First Data
Partha Saha, Arab Financial Services
+973 17 299722