Visa extends Barclays multi-year card partnership

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Barclays, which processes nearly half the U.K.’s credit and debit card transactions, has signed a multi-year partnership that extends its 50-year relationship with Visa.

In a critical relationship for Visa — Barclays was the first bank to launch a Visa credit card in the U.K. in 1966. The new European agreement between the parties means that Barclays will continue to offer Visa for cards issued in U.K. as well as to drive future product developments and facilitate international expansion. The terms of the agreement, including length, were not disclosed.

“We process nearly half of the U.K.’s debit and credit card transactions, which reflects Barclays' position in the marketplace. Partnerships such as this enable us to continue to commit investment to developing new payment solutions that benefit all of our customers,” said Ashok Vaswani, global head of consumer banking and payments at Barclays, in a press release.

The deal calls for Visa to develop and deploy products at scale across the Barclays network. Barclays will also leverage Visa’s card network to help drive its card processing business internationally.

The extension of the card scheme agreement signals an increasing willingness for the card network to lease its card processing infrastructure to bank partners.

In 2013, Visa signed a 10-year deal with Chase Merchant Services to help Chase launch a proprietary card network that would process its Chase Visa cards on Chase acquired merchants using Visa’s card network infrastructure. This effectively created “on-us”-type transactions for Chase, lowering costs. The greater customer transaction visibility could also lead to improved loyalty solutions.

In return, Visa was promised additional debit and credit card volume from Chase, which is Visa’s largest U.S. and global card issuer.

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