COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Total System Services Inc. said it has formed a partnership with Deluxe Data Systems to provide transaction processing services, including card and check authorizations, to retail merchants.

The companies said that together they can offer authorization, capture, and settlement of debit card transactions through regional and national networks, which is Deluxe's specialty, and a full range of credit card processing through the settlement stage, Total's forte.

Merchants would receive a single statement, comprising all their credit, debit, and check transactions.

Total, a unit of Columbus, Ga.-based Synovus Financial Corp., is the second-largest credit card processor. Its bank customers have 285,000 merchant accounts. Milwaukee-based Deluxe, a subsidiary of Deluxe Corp., specializes in software and processing for electronic funds transfer networks.

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