Equifax Inc. has added the data processing subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank to its year-old Market Partners program.

Under the multiyear agreement, Equifax Payment Services will provide through the Midwest Payment Systems unit check authorization and collection services for more than 25,000 retail outlets.

The Fifth Third unit processes $22.5 billion in annual credit card sales.

The partners program also provides financial institutions with on-line credit screening, point of sale systems, and card processing. Other participants include Mellon Bank Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., and Norwest Corp.

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