WATERLOO, Belgium - Barclays Bank's Barclaycard unit has issued its two millionth Eurocard-MasterCard credit card, Europay International announced.

London-based Barclays, an original BankAmericard/Visa bank, remains predominantly Visa, and went dual with Eurocard issuance in 1990.

Barclays accounts for about 18% of the 11 million Eurocard-MasterCard cards in the United Kingdom, a total that rose 8% last year, said Jim Rafferty, Europay International's general manager for the U.K. and Ireland.

In another British development, Europay announced that Alliance & Leicester Building Society has become a principal member. It is the first of the country's building societies, roughly equivalent to U.S. savings and loans, to join the card group directly.

Alliance & Leicester said it will issue Eurocard-MasterCard credit cards and its subsidiary, Girobank, will have a merchant-acquirer status. Girobank is already a major bill-payment processor, handling 7.5 million transactions a week and serving most of the country's top retailers.

Europay said 583 Alliance & Leicester and Girobank automated teller machines will be open to Eurocard, MasterCard, Cirrus, and Eurocheque cards.

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