[IMGCAP(1)]

A global recession will test Total System Services Inc. in 2009, Philip W. Tomlinson, TSYS chairman and CEO, said in a statement. Calling the current economic conditions "formidable challenges," Tomlinson says TSYS's processing customers will experience "a tough year." During a conference call with analysts yesterday to discuss the company's fourth-quarter and 2008 financial results, Tomlinson expressed optimism. "We have great strengths, and we have great abilities to retain and continue to attract new customers," he said. TSYS expects to add six Global Services processing customers this year, Tomlinson said. For its Merchant Services business, TSYS expects its recent acquisition of Infonox Inc., which makes software that lets acquiring clients accept multiple forms of payment, to pay off through new clients in the gaming and casino business (CardLine, 11/3/08). Within the North America Services business, TSYS is contending with the loss of Washington Mutual Inc.'s credit card-processing contract. JPMorgan Chase & Co. bought WaMu last year (CardLine, 9/26/08). TSYS's handling of those card accounts is to end by early April, Tomlinson told analysts. He said the agreement with Chase prevents him from disclosing the termination fee TSYS will receive from Chase.

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