Sistema 4B, a leading bank payments association in Spain, has agreed to adopt the Eurocard-MasterCard brand for more than four million debit cards.

The cards, known as 4B, will thus become acceptable in other countries for the first time - and at all 13 million MasterCard merchants and 300,000 MasterCard-Cirrus automated teller machines.

With the agreement, Europay, MasterCard's European affiliate, consolidates recent gains in Spain, including a commitment in July by the Association of Spanish Savings Banks to move away from the Visa brand.

The two agreements "will bring the Europay-MasterCard market share of card issuance in Spain close to 50% by 2000," said Kurt Richolt, chairman of Belgium-based Europay International. Starting from virtually zero, MasterCard and Europay are projecting 11 million total cards by that time, which Mr. Richolt called "unprecedented growth by any standard."

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