Payments processor Elavon has formed a division, the Professional Services unit, to help merchants cut costs.

The Atlanta firm, a unit of U.S. Bancorp, says its Professional Services unit can advise companies that accept credit or debit cards on how to qualify for better interchange rates, lower costs associated with chargebacks and fraud, protect data and manage the complexities of complying with the Payment Card Industry data security standard.

The division, which Elavon announced March 5, has helped merchants worldwide net $50 million in savings so far, the company says.

"Companies often focus their attention on negotiating rates and fees in an attempt to shave a few basis points off their costs," James Ray, Elavon's senior vice president for global accounts, said in a press release. "The truth is that every payments-related expense analyzed for efficiency and brought under management drives money straight to the bottom line, providing companies with a tremendous opportunity to unleash savings and redirect spending at initiatives that drive growth."

Merchants can hire Elavon's professional services unit regardless of whether they use Elavon's platform to process transactions, according to the company.

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