Tsys, a provider of outsourced payment services, has signed a joint venture agreement with First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska, to form a new company First National Merchant Solutions (FNMS).

FNMS offers transaction processing, merchant support and underwriting, and business and value-added services, as well as Visa- and MasterCard-branded prepaid cards for businesses of any size.

Under terms of the agreement, Tsys will acquire 51% ownership of FNMS for approximately $150.5m, while FNBO will control the remaining 49%. FNMS had net revenue of $93m in 2009.

Diana Mehochko will remain as president of the FNMS and her executive management team will continue in their existing capacity.

Philip Tomlinson, chairman of the board and CEO of Tsys, said: “After years of providing acquiring solutions to our clients, this joint venture positions Tsys as a full-service merchant acquirer for the first time in our company’s history. We felt that FNMS presented the right opportunity for Tsys to broaden its participation in the payments industry.”

Daniel O’Neill, president of FNBO, said: “This joint venture gives FNMS increased opportunities to compete in a rapidly-changing industry. Partnering with Tsys allows us to gain technology and tools that will permit us to accelerate growth and enhance our capabilities to serve our growing customer base.

“Strategically, we knew that FNMS offered a unique opportunity to attract the right partner who brought the significant investment required to take this important, national business to the next level. The partnership is committed to best-in-class technology, product offerings and service to customers.”

The transaction is expected to close April 1, 2010.