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NEW YORK – First Data Corp, a major card processor generally and the card processor for hundreds of credit unions that process their card transactions with the PSCU Financial Services cooperative and TNB Card Services, is once again considering whether or not to sell its card business. By itself this is not terribly new. The firm has occasionally reviewed its card processing arm and internally debated divesting it. But this time there are more indications that the company may end up selling its card business in favor of continuing to expand its more profitable operations. The latest reporting, which suggested this might be true, came in an article in the Jan. 4 New York Times which made the sale appear more likely and reported that the firm may make an announcement of the sale by the end of the month. “First Data will announce by the end of the month whether it will sell its money-losing card-processing business, a sale that is expected to reap more than $3 billion,” the Times reported. “The company, based in Greenwood Village, Colo., would hold on to its profitable Western Union money-transfer business and its merchant-processing unit, which handles credit card transactions for retailers.” The Times’ article reported that First Data would want to sell the card division because it has not kept up with changes in processing technology. It also reported that some analysts were making a case for First Data keeping the card arm.

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