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The news that CO-OP Financial Services and FIS are going to integrate and expand their Sprig and PayNet systems into a real time person-to-person payment network will mean different things to different network users, a payment expert said.

The move will elevate as many as 48 million U.S. consumers to a level of banking that has been enjoyed in the rest of the world for decades, said Gareth Lodge, a U.K based senior analyst for payments for Celent, an international banking consultant firm. And, he added, the deal will challenge all participants in the U.S. payment system with a new way of operating.

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