The Clearing House, SVPCo and a number of affiliated payments businesses in the United States have merged into a single payments company with an inclusive and unified governing board.
This re-organization involves The Clearing House, Small Value Payments Company (SVPCo), Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS), Electronic Payments Network (EPN), Electronic Clearing Services (ECS), and National Check Exchange (NCE).
“For the past several years, these organizations have been managed as separate businesses, while sharing technology, bank owners, and a point of view about the future of payments,” says G. Kennedy Thompson, Chairman and CEO of Wachovia Corporation and Chairman of the Board of The Clearing House. “With the migration of payments to electronic and the synergies between the organizations, it just makes sense to combine our strengths to address the challenges and opportunities collectively.”
The merger plan was created over the past 18 months by senior executives of the owner banks. The transition to the new structure is expected to take place over the next year, with no change to daily operations, management, business plans, or marketing. Customers will not be directly affected by the change.
“It’s not like a typical merger, since these companies know each other and work together on a daily basis already,” says Jeffrey Neubert, CEO of The Clearing House. “This merger doesn’t change our vision or plans, instead it enables us to carry them out in a common, inclusive, and cohesive way.”
The Clearing House says it will continue to be the voice of the US payments industry in legal, regulatory, tax, and accounting matters, and that the Strategic Payments Forum will continue to co-ordinate work among US payments industry participants. “It assesses the continuous evolution of the U.S. dollar-based payments business and facilitates action to ensure bank centrality in, and influence over, the evolution of the payments business,” explains a spokesman.
“The Clearing House Payments Company is uniquely positioned to influence the direction of the payments business in the US” concludes Neubert. “It has enormous potential to provide leadership, innovation, and value to benefit financial institutions of all sizes in all locations.”
The Clearing House is a private-sector, global payment systems infrastructure that clears and settles more than $1.5 trillion per day. It also serves as an industry forum addressing strategic and regulatory issues around US payments.