By Kent Schnacker, group president, ACS Financial Services

As part of Xerox and ACS’ growth strategy, we’re rounding out our financial services offering with the acquisition of Symcor US – one of North America’s largest providers of financial processing services. Building on our breadth of existing services, the acquisition perfectly accents our current financial services suite.

By incorporating Symcor US’ check and payment processing services into our current suite of services, this acquisition allows us to help financial institutions adjust to the changing payment landscape and ease the transition from checks to their digital counterparts. Quite simply, it puts ACS in a position to help our customers run their businesses more efficiently and cost-effectively.

But you may be asking yourself: “Why are we making this investment at a time when people are writing fewer checks?”

It’s quite timely, in fact. According to the Federal Reserve Payment Study 2010, about 24.5 billion checks were processed in 2009. While transactions are definitely trending towards the electronic variety, there are still tons of paper checks in circulation that remain an institution among individuals and businesses. So why not set ourselves up at ACS to handle all types of payments for our customers?

While ACS already offers a plethora of solutions to our financial services customers – including document management systems and mortgage, credit card, and student loan services – the addition of Symcor US’ financial processing prowess allows us to provide an even wider-range of services to banks and other financial institutions while adding significant value to our offering.

It’s a well-trodden expression: “The whole is often greater than the sum of its parts.” By adding Symcor US’ proficiencies in transaction processing, we’re now even more well-equipped to keep banks and financial institutions focused on their core competencies in order to achieve their business goals. These sorts of acquisitions are high-priority for Xerox and ACS.