Wirecard AG has agreed to buy Citigroup's institutional prepaid card business, giving Germany-based Wirecard its first market foothold in North America.

Wirecard will assume approximately 120 employees at the operation, according to press releases the companies issued June 29. Citi's prepaid card operations currently are based in Conshohocken, Pa., with 20 employees located outside the U.S.

Citi's prepaid card unit has a global footprint with more than 2,500 prepaid card programs, including incentive, compensation and corporate disbursement cards for industries that span telecommunications, health care, electronics, consumer goods and the public sector.

Citi's card programs will mesh well with Wirecard's resources, including its robust global payments platform enabling customers to tailor and customize products, said Wirecard CEO Markus Braun."On an operating level we look forward to sustainably enriching their existing product portfolio via our ... issuing solutions," Braun said.

Wirecard is acquiring Citi's prepaid card operations in a cash and stock in a deal set to close during the fourth quarter. The price of the deal was not disclosed.

Global Industry Analytics Inc. forecasts that global prepaid card volume will reach $3.1 trillion by 2022, based on growth in one-time and reloadable prepaid cards that are steadily replacing checks and cash for many types of corporate and government payments.

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