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 SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Interlink Network announced today that more than 500 financial institutions have joined the network. Of the 500 participating members, more than 375 institutions have selected Interlink as the national debit point-of-sale logo they will add to their ATM cards. The other 125 institutions are involved in signing up merchants for Interlink acceptance.
 This new total represents an increase of more than 600 percent from the number of institutions signed up two years ago. Participating Interlink financial institutions are located in every major region across the country, with 16 of the nation's top 25 financial institutions currently, or committed to, issuing Interlink cards. There are 23 million cards now operational, and Interlink is projecting 67 million cards will be issued in the United States by 1995.
 Interlink cards are currently used an average of 400,000 times a day to make purchases anywhere the logo is displayed by providing access to consumers' checking accounts.
 "Surpassing the 500 mark for participating financial institutions is an outstanding achievement for Interlink, especially when you consider that only 69 institutions were signed up in October of 1991 when Visa acquired Interlink," said Wesley C. Tallman, president of Interlink Network. "Today's financial institutions have recognized that we're on the brink of a monumental change in how consumers choose to pay for purchases, with check cards increasingly replacing cash and checks as the payment of choice. This important milestone tells us that the nation's financial institutions do not want to miss out on the opportunity to provide their customers with one of the hottest payment products available today."
 With hundreds of financial institutions issuing or set to issue Interlink cards, expanding awareness of the cards among consumers and educating Americans on how and where the cards are used are top priorities for Interlink.
 Interlink will be assisting financial institutions in their efforts to spread the word about check cards through a national consumer education campaign "The New Shape of Checking" unveiled in September 1993 in Washington, D.C.
 During the next 12 months, Interlink and participating financial institutioi?ll work toward expanding consumer knowledge of Interlink cards throughout the country by distributing consumer education literature, conducting local promotions at financial institutions, and meeting with consumer groups, civic organizations, media and city and state officials in major metropolitan areas across the country. As part of "The New Shape of Checking" campaign -- which is designed to support both Interlink and Visa check cards, Visa U.S.A.'s other deposit access product -- Interlink and Visa have developed comprehensive training and other marketing support programs for card-issuing institutions.
 Interlink is the largest direct-debit, point-of-sale network in the world and processes more than 40 percent of all direct debit transactions conducted in the United States. Interlink cards can be used at 22,000 point-of-sale locations in the United States which display the Interlink logo.
 -0- 11/22/93
 /CONTACT: Roseann Clavelli of Interlink Network, 415-432-3439; or Tricia Wiseman of Edelman Public Relations, 415-433-5381, for Interlink/

CO: Interlink Network; Visa U.S.A. ST: California IN: FIN SU:

SG -- SF008 -- 6834 11/22/93 12:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 22, 1993
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