Total System Services Inc. said it has completed the second of three phases in converting Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s credit card accounts to its TS2 processing system.

In the second phase, completed in early March, 24 million accounts were changed over. That brought the total to 31 million on Total System's platform. The remaining 34 million accounts are to move during the second quarter.

Sears made the outsourcing decision last year and became the Synovus Financial Corp. subsidiary's biggest customer. In 1998 more than 32 million of the accounts were active, and average managed receivables were about $28 billion.

"In many ways, Sears is the most important name in the retail business," said Total System vice president and Sears account manager Roddy Hunter. "I would like to think that we couldn't get a better endorsement than Sears."

With the features of TS2, "we are going from no flexibility to essentially infinite flexibility," said Kevin Phalen, Sears' director of portfolio conversion.

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