September 06, 2001

Concord EFS, operator of the Star, Cash Station and MAC debit networks, has completed plans for moving the three networks to a uniform pricing schedule--an important element of a consolidation strategy that includes transitioning to the Star brand, integrating multiple operating platforms, and implementing uniform operating policies across its coast-to-coast debit network.

"We assured our network participants that we would move quickly to consolidate our three networks, and this key piece of the strategy is the latest achievement in that commitment," according to Edward A. Labry III, president of Memphis, Tenn.-based Concord.

The uniform pricing structure is designed to create consistency across the networks, and to remain competitive with the PIN-secured and signature debit offerings of other national payment networks. The new pricing, which was announced to Concord's 6,200 financial institution clients via letters last month, will be effective January 1, 2002.

"The consolidated pricing is based on careful research, analysis, and modeling to insure value to all participants," noted Ronald V. Congemi, president of Star.

On the merchant side, Star PIN-secured debit is still significantly lower in cost compared to other electronic payment options, Congemi said. "On the card issuer side, we've improved the profitability of PIN-secured transactions, which research shows consumers prefer over signature debit payments."

Consolidation of Concord's network created a coast-to-coast network of 180,000 ATMs and the nation's largest PIN-secured debit payment network with 800,000 merchant locations. There are over 124 million ATM/debit cards that carry the STAR, MAC, or Cash Station brands.

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