Metris To Acquire Banco Popular's Credit Card Program

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Metris Cos. Inc. yesterday said it agreed to buy the U.S. bankcard program from Banco Popular North America as part of Metris' effort to increase its marketing to Hispanics.

The terms of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed. It is expected to close during the third quarter of this year.

Banco Popular and Metris subsidiary Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank N.A. also entered an agent bank arrangement to offer bankcard products to current and future Banco Popular customers.

Banco Popular's credit card portfolio includes about 283,000 account relationships and about $180 million in receivables.

Earlier this year the credit card marketer formed a partnership to offer co-branded credit cards to customers of La Curacao, a Hispanic-focused retailer in California. Also, Metris, St. Louis, MO, will issue a Spanish version of its Direct Merchants Bank credit card later this summer and will issue a Spanish version of its Prodigy Internet MasterCard by year-end.

Metris already offers a Spanish version of Account Protection Plus, a credit card enhancement product, and it is planning to add several other enhancement products in Spanish by year-end.

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