ATLANTA - National Data Corp. said it has entered into a marketing agreement with the 2,200-member Restaurant Association of Maryland, the largest trade association in the state.

Through the agreement, National Data strengthens the distribution of its payment system services. The restaurant group includes establishments ranging from individual proprietorships to regional chains.

National Data was a pioneering provider of card acceptance systems for restaurants. Its offerings include card authorizations, check verification and guarantee, settlements, and tax filing.

Separately, the Atlanta-based information processing company announced a 3-for-2 stock split, in the form of a 50% common stock distribution March 20 to shareholders of record on Feb. 20.

The post-split quarterly dividend of 7.5 cents would amount to a 3% increase.

Robert Yellowlees, chairman and chief executive, said the move will improve the stock's marketability and availability. Shares have been trading near a 52-week high of $26.375.

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