Concord May Rival CO-OP

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Concord EFS's deal last week to acquire Credit Union 24 represents an effort by the nation's largest electronic funds transfer company to set itself up as a rival to credit union-owned CO-OP Network as a national switch for credit unions. Officials with Concord EFS said Credit Union 24's 400 credit union relationships will be added to the 2,800 already participating in the company's Star Systems network to create a dedicated network for credit unions from coast to coast. The network, "will uniquely serve credit unions and be uniquely designed by credit unions," Melinda Mercurio, a spokesperson for Concord EFS, told The Credit Union Journal. The planned acquisition will expand the access of Credit Union 24 cardholders from 14,500 ATMs to 224,000 across the country, the nation's largest network. In comparison, holders of CO-OP Network cards have access to about 15,000 ATMs in 49 states and Canada. Concord EFS plans to continue the surcharge-free access and universal deposit-taking practice of Credit Union 24, according to Mercurio. It has yet to be decided whether the Credit Union 24 brand will survive after completion the deal, still awaiting a definitive agreement.

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