eFunds Sale of 17,200 ATMs Not Expected To Have Effect On CO-OP Network

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eFunds Corp. agreed last week to sell its fleet of 17,200 ATMs, which make up the core of the credit union-owned CO-OP Network.

The ATMs, the second-largest independent (non-bank) fleet, will be acquired by TRM Corp., a Portland, Ore., independent service organization, for $150 million.

TRM currently operates 1,200 ATMs in the U.S. that are already hooked into the CO-OP Network, along with another 3,000 ATMs in Britain, and also manages more than 19,000 copiers throughout the U.S. The deal will give TRM ownership of more than 19,000 ATMs, the second largest independent fleet of ATMs in the country.

Cardtronics, with more than 27,000 ATMs, is currently the largest independent ATM operator in the U.S., and Bank of America, with 24,000 machines, is the largest bank-owned fleet.

Robert Rose, chief executive of the CO-OP, said he has been in talks with both eFunds and TRM in the weeks leading up to the deal and expects the sale to have little or no impact on the CO-OP's operations. The CO-OP will continue to use 8,000 of the ATMs, which were owned by eFund's Access Cash International subsidiary, and eFunds will continue to process the transactions. The CO-OP Network still has another four years to run on a five-year contract it signed last year with eFunds, said Rose.

While the eFunds machines used to make up a majority of the CO-OP's network, that is no longer the case. Credit union-owned ATMs now account for more than 11,000 of the CO-OP's 19,200 machines, according to Rose.

The CO-OP Network already has a relationship with TRM, pointed out Rose, noting last year's agreement to use 1,200 TRM machines located in Cumberland Farms and Pantry Pride convenience stores in the northeast.

The eFunds sale will allow the company to focus on other areas, including transaction processing and fraud detection. Financial disclosures filed by eFunds show the ATM business has been a drain on the company, providing little or no profits since it was acquired five years ago, soon after eFunds was spun off from Deluxe Corp.

The deal also calls for eFunds to provide ATM driving, processing and management for TRM's fleet of 21,800 ATMs in the U.S., Canada and Britain, for five years.

Separately, ATM National said last week it has signed an agreement with Internet bank NetBank to add its 6,000 ATMs to ATM National's surcharge-free ATM network, known as Allpoint. That will give Allpoint more than 30,000 ATMs across the country connected to the network.

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