"With the addition of NetSpend," Woods said, "we will be able to exploit all of these opportunities and offer these customers an end-to-end prepaid program."
Madeline Aufseeser, an analyst at Aite Group, agrees that the opportunities to cross-sell NetSpend's prepaid program will be significant.
"Bank XYZ can come in tomorrow," she says. "It's an end-to-end solution."
Other analysts are more skeptical of the merger's value, noting the high acquisition price and the lack of obvious synergies between the two firms, as well as a seeming mismatch between the behind-the-scenes role that TSYS plays and NetSpend's consumer-facing culture.
That may be why TSYS executives went out of their way to signal that they won't mess with NetSpend.
NetSpend will keep its recognizable brand name and remain headquartered in Austin. And at least for now, NetSpend chief executive officer Daniel Henry will remain at the helm, though he wouldn't say how long he is contractually obligated to stay.
Industry analysts were split on the acquisition's likely impact on Green Dot, NetSpend's longtime rival in the prepaid card business.
Green Dot has been relying on TSYS to process transactions while it works to build its own processing system. The Georgia firm's acquisition of NetSpend ratchets up the pressure on Pasadena, Calif.-based Green Dot to build its own in-house solution, Aufseeser says.
"They need to get that piece done in order to stay relevant in the market."
Others analysts argued that the acquisition is a positive for the entire prepaid card market, including Green Dot.
"To me the main takeaway is that this is a validation of this market," Luria says, "and Green Dot is still a leading player."