IT services company Unisys Australia will acquire a 50 per cent stake in Australian cheque processing company, Austrapay while co-owner Australia Post will retain 50 per cent. JP Morgan and Co will relinquish its 50 per cent interest in the processor.
No financial details have been disclosed but Unisys has the option to acquire the outstanding 50 per cent from Australia Post in the future.
Austrapay is Australia's fifth largest and only non-bank cheque processing services provider offering cheque clearing and lock box (mail remittance processing) to St George Bank, BankWest, Bank SA, Suncorp Metway, Bendigo Bank, Adelaide Bank and Australia Post.
Unisys South Pacific vice president and general manager Ron Frankenfield said the acquisition will allow Unisys to extend Austrapay's operations and introduce new technology to customers.
"Our technology and skills in the financial services sector, combined with Austrapay's cheque processing experience, provides a new player in the local payments market. It also complements our worldwide activities in payment processing including our UK joint venture with Barclays Bank and Lloyds TSB," Frankenfield said.
Austrapay CEO David Miles said the Unisys acquisition will extend the company beyond national boundaries to the global scene.
"Recently, as we started rolling out image technology we became convinced that Unisys would become the global player in cheque and payments processing technology; we are excited about being a part of Unisys where cheque processing is a core competency," Miles said.