FDR Ltd., the U.K.-based unit of First Data Resources, Omaha, has bolstered its international business through two recent contracts - with American Express and with Riyad Bank of Saudi Arabia.

FDR Ltd., the largest third-party processor in Britain, was formed in 1988 "with the idea of creating a base of operations there that we could expand," said ED Nafus, the unit's chief executive.

The Omaha operation and the British one, based in Basildon, are business units of First Data Corp., a leading processor of bank card transactions based in Hackensack, N.J.

Three-Continent Deal

The British unit's goal was realized in April, when it won a payment-processing contract to handle certain back-office services for American Express charge cards in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

"This is truly a cross-border and multicurrency [deal] for us," said Mr. Nafus.

Under the agreement, FDR is responsible for American Express' paper processes, including statement printing and mailing and paper voucher capture.

FDR also acquired 200 employees from American Express; they will contine to work in the American Express facility in Brighton, England.

Saudi Arabian Contract

Shortly after the American Express contract was announced, FDR signed an agreement with Riyad Bank.

The latter contract, said Mr. Nafus, "is another example of our expansion." A spokeswoman for FDR added that other such contracts are in the works.

From its facility in Basildon, FDR will handle all aspects of data processing, cardholder authorization, and data base management for Riyad Bank. It will also provide behavior scoring and fraud-controls services.

Though the Saudi Arabian credit market is in the realy stages of development, some estimate that the number of cardholders c ould grow to several million, according to an FDR press release.

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