U.S. Payment Processor Partners with Cassis for TSM Services

U.S.-based payment processor TSYS has hired trusted service manager Cassis International to offer TSM services to its banking and other customers in the United States and Canada.

The processor said it wants to be ready for expected contactless-mobile payment, as well as loyalty and m-couponing services, its customers–mainly banks–might want to launch.

"Our customers are perplexed about how this is going to play out," Joe Majestic, director of corporate strategy and planning for TSYS told NFC Times. "I wouldn’t say we’ve had any specific customers say we want to do this. We think it’s possible enough that this could be the next big wave so we want to be prepared for it."

The partnership would mainly cover business in North America. TSYS said that Cassis would serve as the TSM when a bank or possibly a merchant customer wants to provision and manage payment or other applications over the air on NFC mobile phones or bridge technologies, such as microSD cards.

When asked, TSYS said it was not vying directly for business from new payments players in the United States, such as mobile network operators. It also said the announcement last fall by its larger rival First Data Corp. hiring South Korea-based SK C&C to provide TSM services did not play a role in bringing about the agreement with Cassis.

Singapore-based Cassis has provided TSM services for one of the few large rollouts of contactless-mobile payment, by South Korean mobile operator SK Telecom. It also was the TSM for a number of NFC pilots and for a small commercial launch of NFC services in Malaysia by Maxis Communications and Maybank, involving Visa Inc., in 2009. More recently, Cassis was hired to provide the TSM piece by France-based telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent for its Mobile Wallet Service targeting mobile operators offering payment on NFC phones.

"There’s a few players in this space; it’s not like you have a hundred choices," Majestic said. "We were impressed with their experience. We’ve had conversations with them the last few months."

Cassis CEO Thian Yee Chua said in a statement the new partnership represents another step for the company in "realizing our vision of a global TSM network."

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