Visa U.S.A. said Synapsys Inc. has vaulted ahead of other third-party processors by developing a processing system for its commercial-card program that exceeds certification standards for 1995 and 1996.

The "next-generation system," as Visa calls it, is now available to financial institutions that issue Visa-branded commercial card products.

After issuing a request for proposals in November 1993, Visa selected Synapsys, the card processing unit of CoresStates Bank of Delaware, and Rocky Mountain BankCard System of Denver, to develop processing programs for commercial cards.

Richard Hagadorn, executive vice president of credit products, suggested Synapsys' system "raises the bar one more time, quite a distance higher," than any other third-party processor.

"Prior to what we have done, basically, the business market has been supported by a processing system that was a consumer card processing system with some minimal enhancements to meet some of the needs of corporations, but not with any level of sophistication," said William F. Githens, president and chief executive officer of Synapsys.

The Synapsys system offers customized reporting, control options, and custom billing.

Mr. Githens said three elements distinguish Synapsys' system. First is the ability to create independent hierarchies for authorizations, reporting, and billing, which can be customized by corporations. The second is on-line, real-time processing, which allows banks to sign up corporations in one day. Third is flexible billing, be it daily, weekly, or monthly.

Synapsys, which was formed in October 1993, focuses primarily on commercial cards, processing for financial institutions that issue Visa and MasterCard products. Among its competitors are Total System Services, First Data Corp., Electronic Data Systems Corp., and ProCard Inc.

Mr. Githens acknowledged the competition but said that Synapsys' system offers more functions and a higher level of sophistication.

"Getting into this business and focusing on the commercial card really gave other financial institutions the opportunity to play, because we've made it somewhat easy and faster," Mr. Githens said. "The financial institutions do not have to make the investment individually (that) we've made for them."

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