$3 million project to add office space at TSYS North Center

Work taking place at Columbus facility that mails 180 million cards and statements each year

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 8, 2013 

It’s a major credit card and billing statement hub for TSYS, mailing out about 180 million pieces of first-class mail in 2012 alone.

But that’s not the portion of the Columbus-based card processor’s North Center on Stone Mill Drive, just off J.R. Allen Parkway, that is being renovated.

TSYS spokesman Cyle Mims said Monday a $3 million building permit taken out by general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie is aimed at revamping 72,595 square feet in the North Center’s Building 300 for more office space.

“It will be a two-phase plan scheduled for completion in mid-2014,” he said via email. “This remodeling doesn’t have anything to do with our recent NetSpend acquisition. It was already in the planning stages.”

TSYS closed its $1.4 billion purchase of Austin, Texas-based NetSpend Holdings last week. A prepaid debit card specialist, NetSpend becomes a subsidiary of TSYS. But executives have said it will maintain its facilities and work force in Austin.

Meanwhile, the North Center complex dates to 1991, growing to three structures through the years. The one being renovated opened in 1997, Mims said.

A major function of the North Center operation is stamping credit cards and sending out monthly statements and card-offering letters for a variety of banks and retailers.

TSYS processes nearly 500 million accounts in more than 80 countries around the world. Its annual revenue in 2012 approached $1.9 billion, while the 30-year-old firm’s work force has grown to about 9,000. More than 4,500 of those are in Columbus.

TSYS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Phil Tomlinson said the company processed 16 billion cardholder and merchant transactions last year. That equates to about 40 million a day or 463 per second, with a total annual dollar volume of more than $2.5 trillion.

The company announced last year that it was regaining a long-term contract with Bank of America, handling the corporation’s U.S. consumer cards, business it lost in 2005.

The conversion of the Bank of America portfolio to the TSYS TS2 system should be completed by mid-2014. Altogether, the Columbus company has about 100 million new accounts in the pipeline.

TSYS on Monday also said it has signed a long-term contract with KBC Bank Ireland to launch and process debit cards for its customers. Terms of the agreement were not released.

“KBC is providing a real alternative in Irish banking and over the last 18 months we have been expanding our presence and introducing new and innovative products,” Edward Dillon, KBC Bank Ireland’s retail products chife, said in a statement. “The ability to launch a debit card is seen as the next critical stage in our growth.”

Shares of TSYS stock (Ticker: TSS) rose 12 cents, or 0.48 percent, to $24.90 in trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. The firm’s 52-week trading range is $21.10 to $25.06 per share.

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