First Data Corp. of Hackensack, N.J., said it has completed its acquisition of Envoy Corp.'s merchant processing and point of sale businesses.

In keeping with an agreement announced last August, First Data paid $170 million in stock. Nashville-based Envoy will receive up to $21 million more if it meets certain performance objectives.

Envoy chose not to sell two lines of business - health care processing and electronic benefits transfer.

The Envoy divestitures strengthen First Data in the business of helping client banks serve card-accepting merchants, particularly in the hospitality industry, which was Envoy's strength.

Joe Stewart, executive vice president of merchant services, is managing the acquired activities.

Also on the merchant side of the credit card industry, First Data in March acquired Card Establishment Services, one of the top three processors, for $520 million of stock plus assumption of debt.

In May 1994, First Data enhanced its merchant network with the acquisition of Telemoney, a unit of Ceridian Corp.

All three acquired units are part of the electronic funds services division of First Data's Card Services Group. The division bears the stamp of its chief executive, Roger Peirce, who joined from Visa in early 1994 to focus on merchant processing, debit cards, and several other growth initiatives.

As the No. 1 independent processor of bank card accounts and now a leading force in merchant processing, First Data hopes to profit from an anticipated explosion in card-based electronic transactions.

"Of the more than 400 billion transactions occurring at the point of sale each year, only 6% are captured on transaction cards," Mr. Peirce said. The combination of "Envoy technology and our strength in the cardholder business will help our clients make the most of those market opportunities."

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