CINCINNATI - Fifth Third Bancorp's data processing subsidiary, Midwest Payment Systems, has signed an agreement to purchase ACI Merchant Services Inc., a Langhorne, Pa., merchant processor.

The deal is expected to close next month. Terms were not disclosed.

Midwest, which collects a fee on every transaction processed, expects to gain business from those financial institutions that use ACI because they do not have their own data processing units.

"This merger will aid our efforts in identifying business opportunities," said Midwest executive vice president Barry L. Boerstler.

In May, Midwest acquired Integrated Delivery Technologies Inc., a New York company that processes transactions for 3.5 million cardholders and 81 financial institutions.

ACI currently processes 500,000 electronic transactions a month for 7,500 merchants. Midwest processes 4.8 billion transactions a year for 1,400 financial institutions and more than 63,000 retail locations.

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