Credicard, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Citigroup, and Elavon, a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Bancorp, have signed a binding agreement to establish a joint venture creating a merchant services company that will offer a full suite of payment solutions to the Brazilian marketplace.

The new company will be branded as Elavon and will be supported with the launch of a sales force with national coverage, as well as in-market operations, technology and product resources.

According to US Bancorp, combined with Credicard’s market expertise and brand recognition, Elavon will deliver processing platform, financial efficiency, innovative payment solutions and secure point-of-sale devices for mobile acceptance environments.

Elavon president and CEO Mike Passilla said since 2005, Brazil’s credit card market has grown at a 20% plus percent rate annually.

"We are excited to further drive this market growth by combining our best-in-class products, services and capabilities with Credicard’s market leadership position to offer new operational efficiencies and highly reliable solutions for small and national-level merchants in Brazil," Passilla said.

Citi Brazil CEO Gustavo Marin the joint-venture represents an important step in the organization’s business strategy.

"Citi has always been at the forefront in the development of Brazil’s financial industry. With the creation of this joint-venture, we advance even further our strategy in Brazil’s retail market, offering a new option for consumers, as well as businessmen and merchants and, consequently, strengthen our growing position in the consumer credit segment," Marin said.