Fiserv is changing the name of its ACCEL/Exchange payments network to Accel, a move that draws attention to Fiserv's technology as the company competes against rivals such as Fidelity National Information Services and develops new emerging payments technology.

"Fiserv's rebranding is not marketing window dressing, it's more about [providing reassurance] that they have pathway to mobile payments," says Richard Crone, a payments consultant. "Mobile payments is a $6.2 trillion market."

Accel supplies the infrastructure for handling funds at ATMs and the point of sale. The network serves 55 million debit cardholders, 3,100 financial institutions, 340,000 ATMs and more than 3 million merchant locations. Fiserv recently made Accel accessible to Open Solutions, a bank technology company it purchased last year. Fiserv is also competing against core banking rival FIS, which recently launched its own payment processing network.

"Payment platforms will be very important in this increasingly complex commerce landscape," says Denee Carrington, a senior analyst at Forrester Research. "Platforms that enable easy customer access, seamless integration and facilitate a range of payments across multiple customer touch points and devices will have a strategy advantage in our rapidly evolving marketplace."

Fiserv is under pressure to increase speed for social and mobile payments, where alternatives abound. Payment companies are using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter as part of their strategies, while Square has become a major brand for micro-merchants.

To respond, Fiserv has integrated Popmoney, its person-to-person payments engine, with Accel to increase processing speed from as much as three days to as little as 30 seconds. Popmoney's clients include PNC and Citigroup.

FIS is also active in P2P. FIS offers a bank-branded platform that uses its PayNet network for processing, and connects to the bank's core system to facilitate real-time funds transfers.

On the mobile acceptance side, Fiserv's SpotPay will be "real-time enabled" later this year, Fiserv said in a release. Banks use SpotPay to give small businesses a Square-like mobile card reader.

Fiserv wasn't available for comment by deadline.

"Fiserv updated the network's name to reflect the 24 by 7, always connected world we're living in," said David Keenan general manager of network solutions for Fiserv, in a press release. "Accel helps consumers move money when and how they want. Our real-time payments platform, developed over the last 40 years, has expanded from ATM and retail payments to enabling social payments."

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