Harland Financial Solutions has offered financial institutions limited ATM and point-of-sale debit support for some time, but its clients had to look elsewhere for merchant, credit card and fraud-prevention services. Now they don't have to.

Harland Financial, which specializes in core systems and services such as payment processing, this week announced a strategic alliance with Cincinnati-based Vantiv Inc., which owns the Jeanie electronic funds transfer network.

The agreement will enable Harland to expand its EFT products to include services such as rewards initiatives, prepaid cards and terminal-driving.

Other services Vantiv will provide indirectly through Harland include card personalization, debit PIN processing through Jeanie and cardholder eServices. Harland counts some 6,000 banks, savings institutions, credit unions and mortgage companies as clients.

"We already had a fairly large number of clients on Vantiv's program, so the popularity among clients is partly what steered us to Vantiv," Scott Hansen, Harland's executive vice president of business development, said in an interview.

Fifth Third Processing Solutions LLC became Vantiv in June 2011. 

Clients that used Vantiv directly now will work through Harland for those same services, Hansen says. "The clients technically are buying from us, and we're the people they'll see," he says. "We'll provide the Tier One customer support to clients."

Pricing for the services will be "transactionally oriented," Hansen says, noting there may be 100 different price points, depending on which services the client uses. "It's generally a pretty straightforward flat pricing model," he says.

Harland Financial simultaneously is adding a new electronic bill presentment and payment offering under a strategic alliance with New York-based Transactis Inc. Harland already delivered Cavion Bill Pay as part of its Cavion suite of self-service products.

The addition of biller-direct eBill presentment and payment services enables financial institutions to support their small and midsize business customers with the ability to transform paper-based bills, payments and marketing into smarter, more efficient and environmentally friendly automated clearinghouse, debit and credit card transactions.

Harland's clients traditionally have offered consolidator-based online bill-payment. Transactis' biller-direct model allows commercial customers to electronically send bills to customers instead of printing them, thus enabling them to click on an electronic invoice and provide their card number or bank-routing information from a check for an ACH transaction, Hansen says.

"We're offering that to clients, which are providing it to their billers to help strengthen their relationships with the client to make it more sticky and provide financial institutions more fee income," he says.

Harland over the past six to nine months has focused on investing internally and aligning with prominent industry partners, and the Vantiv and Transactis deals are results of those efforts, Hansen says.

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