updated 5/5/2011 8:16:24 AM ET 2011-05-05T12:16:24

NEW YORK, May 5, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ACI Worldwide (Nasdaq:ACIW), a leading international provider of payment systems, today announced that it has joined the Payments Council, the organization that sets the strategy for payments in the U.K. As an Associate Member, ACI will bring the benefit of its global presence to the Payments Council, and will be able to expand its work with key players in the payments industry.

The Payments Council ensures that U.K. payment systems and services meet the need of users, payment service providers and the wider economy.  As an Associate Member, ACI is able to bring its wealth of market experience, from nearly 30 years in U.K. payments, to help drive change. ACI works with 19 of the world's 20 largest banks, including all of the 'big four' in the U.K., and has more than 850 financial institutions, processors and retailers as customers worldwide, reinforcing its importance in payments around the world.

ACI Worldwide has been part of many of the changes that have taken place in payments in the U.K. in recent years, not least the launch of the Faster Payments scheme in 2008 and, before that, the migration to EMV. In addition, for almost 20 years ACI has been part of the Standard 70 Maintenance Group of The U.K. Cards Association, which defines all aspects of the interface between merchant terminals and systems, and POS acquiring systems – David Barton, product architect at ACI has held this role for 12 years. 

Bernard Delahaye, vice president, strategy and planning at ACI Worldwide (EMEA), said: "The Payments Council is driving the future of payments in the U.K., including developing innovative payment alternatives and promoting the benefits of various payment methods to the wider economy through the Pay YOUR Way campaign. We are delighted to join this strategic industry body in such an important market."

Gary Hocking, Acting Chief Executive of the Payments Council, said "For the Payments Council to continue to deliver change successfully, we must keep our 'finger on the pulse' of what is happening in the industry. It is therefore important for us that organizations such as ACI, alongside the U.K.'s financial institutions, are involved with the work we do."

For more information about ACI's payments solutions please visit www.aciworldwide.com .

About ACI Worldwide

ACI Worldwide powers electronic payments for more than 800 financial institutions, retailers and processors around the world, with its broad and integrated suite of electronic payment software. More than 75 billion times each year, ACI's solutions process consumer payments. On an average day, ACI software manages more than US$12 trillion in wholesale payments. And for more than 150 organizations worldwide, ACI software helps to protect their customers from financial crime. To learn more about ACI and understand why we are trusted globally, please visit www.aciworldwide.com . You can also find us on www.paymentsinsights.com or on Twitter @ACI_Worldwide.

About The Payments Council

The Payments Council is the organisation that sets strategy for U.K. payments.  It has been established to ensure that U.K. payment systems and services meet the need of users, payment service providers and the wider economy. 

The Payments Council has three core objectives:  to have a strategic vision for payments and lead the future development of co-operative payment services in the U.K.; to ensure payment systems are open, accountable and transparent; and to ensure the operational efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of payment services in the U.K. 

The Payments Council is a membership organisation funded by its members, with an independent chairman. It was set up in March 2007 as a membership organisation funded by its members and currently there are 30 members; the Board has 11 banking representatives, four independent Directors and an independent Chairman. The principal U.K. payment schemes – Bacs, CHAPS and Cheque & Credit Clearing Companies, LINK Scheme as well as the U.K. Domestic Cheque Guarantee Card Scheme and the Belfast Bankers' Clearing Company Limited – have entered into a contract with the Payments Council to set out their respective rights and duties towards each other. Under the contract, schemes are required to report regularly to the Payments Council Board: the Board is able to make decisions that are binding on scheme members in order to implement its strategy. Payments Council now has 21 associate members.

CONTACT: Catherine Eyres
         ACI Worldwide
         +44 1923 812741
         press@aciworldwide.com

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