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A $90 Billion Fee Pool Beckons as BofA Considers First Data Split

  • Their joint venture helps merchants handle electronic payments
  • But as industry changes, BofA could try earning more by itself
Signage is displayed at a Bank of America Corp. branch in San Antonio, Texas.

Signage is displayed at a Bank of America Corp. branch in San Antonio, Texas.

Photographer: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg

Bank of America Corp. is about to decide just how big it wants to be in payments.

Executives at the lender have only weeks left to tell First Data Corp. whether they want to wind down a decade-old joint venture scheduled to renew automatically in mid-2020, according to an April regulatory filing. Known as Bank of America Merchant Services, the unit helps retailers and other clients handle electronic payments. But Bank of America could offer those services directly, potentially strengthening ties with customers and earning more.