RESTON, Va. - Most, the regional automated teller machine and point of sale network, said it handled a record 17.6 million transactions in May, 18% ahead of May 1994.

The network, operated by Internet Inc. of Reston, said its 81 million transactions from January through May also represented a peak. It is on the way to breaking its 1994 total-transaction record of 179 million.

Thirty financial institutions joined the network so far this year, bringing the membership to 551.

Additionally, 28 members have contracted with Internet to perform such network services as terminal driving, gateways to national ATM and point of sale networks, off-line debit card processing, and merchant payment services.

"The Most network's success in attracting new members, increasing transaction volumes, and expanding services demonstrates the value of an active, full-service network," said David A. O'Connor, president and chief executive officer. "As consumers and businesses increase their reliance on electronic banking, financial institutions need new levels of support and service. Providing this support continues to be our strategic focus."

Most has the fifth-largest ATM network and fourth-largest retail point of sale system, with 59,000 total terminals and 17 million cardholders.

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