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Fiserv Looks to Hit Square in the Middle of Mobile Payments

Banks that focus on small businesses are always looking to increase the scope of their customer relationships, typically tying checking account services to credit services. SpotPay provides an additional fee-generating element to existing customer relationships, while also facilitating deposit gathering, through the check processing service.

Fiserv has a long history as one of the largest providers of core and subsidiary processing systems to banks and other financial companies, providing a ready set of current customers for SpotPay. The company said that SpotPay was already available to financial institutions that are part of the company's ACCEL/Exchange network, which integrates ATM services in the U.S. and Canada.

Fiserve has over 5,000 core processing customers among banks, thrifts and credit unions, and offers various other electronic payment services, including Mobiliti, through which consumers can access their checking accounts to review balances and transaction history, pay bills, and make person-to-person payments, through their mobile devices. Fiserv says that Mobiliti "enables financial institutions to reach more consumers than via other mobile technologies because it supports all three mobile access modes: browser, application and text."

Fiserv also offers the PopMoney service, which is a person-to-person payment service that counts Citigroup (C - Get Report) as its biggest customer, and negotiations are underway to link PopMoney with clearXchange, which counts JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC - Get Report), and Wells Fargo (WFC) as members.

So what does all this mean to investors?

Fiserv is often considered a defensive technology stock, because of its recurring revenue stream from long-term contracts with financial companies for various core and secondary processing services.

The company reported second-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $163 million, or $1.18 a share, increasing from $97 million, or 67 cents a share, during the second quarter of 2011. Total second-quarter revenue was $1.100 billion, increasing from $1.065 billion a year earlier.

The company's Payments and Industry Products division saw second-quarter revenue of $609 million, growing from $579 million in the second quarter of 2011, while its Financial Institutions Services institution's revenue increased only slightly, to $502 million in the second quarter, from $497 million, a year earlier.
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