FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2 , 2004
GULFPORT, MS (June 2, 2004) - An alliance between 105-year-old Hancock Bank - one of America's strongest, safest financial institutions - and Denver-based First Data Corp., a global leader in electronic commerce and payments services, will strengthen the competitive advantages available to merchants using Hancock's credit card transaction services.
The agreement establishes Hancock Merchant Services under which First Data will provide all merchant payment processing services on behalf of Hancock Bank. The arrangement further advances the technology offered to Hancock merchant customers through an expanded portfolio of electronic products and services and augments a merchant support network with additional relationship managers throughout Hancock's Gulf South markets.
In accordance with the First Data agreement, Hancock Holding Company received a one-time pre-tax cash payment of $3.0 million that will increase second quarter 2004 after-tax earnings by $1.950 million, or $.06 per share. In addition, the agreement stipulates that Hancock will participate in revenue related to both the existing book of business, as well as new business.
Having processed more than 12.2 billion merchant transactions last year, First Data's core systems and services include authorization, settlement, chargeback, reconciliation, credit, debit, gift card, check verification and guarantee, point-of-sale solutions, and equipment management. Hancock Merchant Services will combine Hancock Bank's strong brand recognition and branch distribution with First Data's economies of scale and expertise in growing a merchant business.
"Many of today's successful businesses depend on efficient, cost-effective card processing to give customers convenient electronic payment options and secure timely payment for goods or services. By assuming responsibility for Hancock Bank's merchant services transactions, First Data will help Hancock deliver enhanced comprehensive service to business customers in the Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida communities Hancock serves," said Hancock Bank President and Chief Executive Officer George A. Schloegel.
second of every day, millions of people and businesses around
the world rely on First Data to handle transactions safely,
reliably, and securely," said John Shlonsky, president,
First Data Merchant Services. "This new alliance with
Hancock Bank enables us to provide a greater choice of superior
payment options to merchants who need them. We at First Data
pride ourselves on our ability to represent our bank partners
with the same customer care and level of service that they
provide their customers today."
About Hancock Bank
Founded in 1899 and rated among the top 4.6 percent of United
States financial institutions for financial soundness, Hancock
Bank operates 103 full-service offices and more than 140 automated
teller machines throughout South Mississippi, Louisiana, and
the Florida Panhandle. Bank subsidiaries include Hancock Investment
Services, Inc., Hancock Insurance Agency, Magna Insurance
Company, Hancock Mortgage Corporation, and Harrison Finance
Company. Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ: HBHC), the parent
company of Hancock Bank (Mississippi), Hancock Bank of Louisiana,
and Hancock Bank of Florida, has assets of $4.4 billion. Additional
corporate information and online banking and bill pay services
are available at www.hancockbank.com.
About First Data
First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), with global headquarters in
Denver, helps power the global economy. As a leader in electronic
commerce and payment services, First Data serves approximately
3.5 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers, and millions
of consumers, making it easy, fast and secure for people and
businesses around the world to buy goods and services using
virtually any form of payment. With more than 30,000 employees
worldwide, the company provides credit, debit, private-label,
smart and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction
processing services; Internet commerce solutions; money transfer
services; money orders; and check guarantee and verification
services. The STAR® Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance
at 264,000 ATMs and one million point-of-sale locations nationwide.
First Data also offers a variety of payment services to businesses
around the world including those in the United Kingdom, Australia,
Canada, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Panama, Brazil, China, the Netherlands,
the Middle East and Germany. Its Western Union and Orlandi
Valuta money transfer networks include approximately 188,000
agent locations in more than 195 countries and territories.
Visit www.firstdata.com for more information.
— 30 —
FOR MORE INFORMATIONR. Paul Maxwell, Hancock Bank, VP & Corporate Communications Manager
K. Green, First Data Corp., Manager of Corporate Communications