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Barclays, which processes nearly half of the UK’s debit and credit card transactions, has signed a new, multi-year partnership with long-standing partner Visa.

The European agreement is designed to drive innovation and product development as well as facilitate international expansion.

At the same time, it will assist Visa to develop industry-leading, cutting edge product innovations and deploy them at scale across the Barclays Payments network.

The scale of the partnership, and the commitment to innovation, will help Barclays and Visa to develop market leading propositions while also maintaining reassuring security checks and balances.

Ashok Vaswani, Global Head of Consumer Banking and Payments at Barclays, said: “This is a landmark partnership for Barclays which will ultimately benefit merchants and consumers. We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Visa for 50 years and over that time we have never stopped innovating. Our continuing partnership will enable us to jointly invest in developing faster and smoother payments to benefit merchants and consumers.

“We process nearly half of the UK’s debit and credit card transactions, which reflects Barclays position in the marketplace. Partnerships such as this enable us to continue to commit investment to developing new payment solutions that benefit all of our customers.”

Charlotte Hogg, Chief Executive Officer, Europe at Visa, said: “Barclays has been one of Visa’s most important partners in Europe for many years and this new partnership will see us extending our partnership again, enabling Barclays to invest in new and innovative digital capabilities.

“We’re really excited about this agreement and the opportunities it will create for our businesses to collaborate on developing compelling payment experiences to consumers and merchants.”

Barclays was the first business to launch a credit card with Visa in the UK in 1966. Barclays and Visa have also partnered on other innovations, including the launch of contactless payments and wearables in the UK and the roll out of ‘touch and go’ payments across the Transport for London Network.