Former First Data Corp. CEO Charles Fote is creating a company that will integrate electronic-payment and funds-transfer products at the point of sale, Fote's spokesperson tells CardLine. Fote intends to purchase different payments-industry companies and combine their offerings under his holding company, which has yet to be named. Fote wants to purchase companies that support funds transfers; credit, debit and prepaid card processing; bill payments; money orders; global currency conversions; and digitized payments, states the spokesperson. Fote left First Data in 2005. "The idea of adding additional offerings in addition to core services–that approach has been around a few years now," says Gwenn Bezard, research director at Boston-based consulting firm Aite Group LLC. The challenge for Fote will be integrating disparate companies he acquires successfully and convincing merchants that already offer funds-transfer or bill-payment services from multiple vendors to switch to an integrated product, he says. "To displace existing offerings, [a product has] to be very compelling and add value," says Bezard. A First Data representative declined to comment on Fote's plans.

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