Equifax Inc.’s decision to spin off its credit card and check processing businesses into a stand-alone public company underscores its aim to join the ranks of the top processors, which themselves have been making organizational realignments to improve their position in the lucrative business.

Equifax said that its payment services division — which processes check and card transactions for community banks and credit unions — has long been overshadowed by what Wall Street considers to be its core business, credit bureau information. Equifax said that transaction processing is a profitable business with increasing opportunities overseas, and that it wanted to make the most of its expertise in this area.

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