Equifax Inc. said it has completed its acquisition of FBS Software, which bolsters Equifax's product line for major credit card issuers.
The companies, both based in Atlanta, announced the signing of a letter of intent June 16. They have not disclosed terms of the planned exchange of stock.
Equifax, already a major force in credit card processing for smaller banks and credit unions, can offer FBS products to larger institutions that do their own processing.
Diversifying through its financial information services group well beyond its original concentration on credit bureau services, which many major lenders use, Equifax also adds to its international clientele through FBS.
The acquired company, originally First Bankcard Systems Inc., was formed in 1986 by people involved in the credit card operation at First National Bank of Atlanta, now Wachovia Bank of Georgia. That bank's credit card and retail banking businesses were once headed by Thomas F. Chapman, executive vice president and head of Equifax's financial information services group.
FBS Software had more than $10 million in revenue last year, making it a small though potentially influential'part of $1.2 billion Equifax and its $700 million financial information segment.
FBS has more than 100 employees and 50 installations worldwide, with a customer list that includes Barclays Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank, and Wachovia Bank.
Equifax Card Services, the Equifax affiliate in Florida that processes for members of the Independent Bankers Association of America, is also a customer. Last year it licensed FBS' Merchant System for managing the accounts of retailers that accept credit cards.
Aside from its mainframebased card processing and merchant software FBS offers collections systems - serving another link in the credit-granting and customer-service chain that Equifax has targeted.
Separately, Equifax reported Monday that its net income for the second quarter rose 24%, to 28.7 million, and per-share income was up by eight cents, or 26%, to 39 cents.
Operating revenue rose 15% in the second quarter to $342.7 million, and 15% in the first half to $662 million. Pretax operating income was up 25% in the quarter to $50.9 million and 32% in the half to $94.8 million.
The company had never exceeded its second-quarter revenue, operating income, net income, or earnings per share in any previous quarter. Revenues reached $1.3 billion in the latest 12 months, and the results are on course for another record year, said chairman C.B. Rogers Jr.
The company has consistently been reporting double-digit growth with improved profit margins. The operating income margin was a record 14.8% in the second quarter versus 13.7% a year earlier.
Revenue and operating income increased strongly in the financial and information services group, Equifax said. They were driven by the finance and retail industries, particularly credit card issuers, and were up despite a downturn in the mortgage business as interest rates rose.
The previously lagging insurance information services group saw a 13% revenue increase for the second quarter.
The insurance group benefited from "careful expense management, particularly in the labor-intensive product lines," said chief financial officer Donald U. Hallman.