Continuing to build momentum as an electronic banking alternative for independent banks, Cartel Network announced the signing of 10 upstate New York institutions, bringing its membership in the state to 46.
Through processing and alliance relationships, Cartel reaches 715 institutions nationwide, as well as more than 10,000 terminal locations.
Formed in late 1994 by former regional banking network executives Joseph E. Wolfson and Craig S. McIntyre, Cartel has mounted a "guerrilla attack" against bank-owned automated teller machine combines like NYCE and MAC.
The upstart has benefited from smaller banks' and their customers' disenchantment with ATM surcharge policies, and it has built relationships with supermarkets seeking negotiating leverage against the big networks' pricing schedules.
Cartel has made a succession of announcements, including the signing of 14 New York banks, thrifts, and credit unions last November; 12 more in February; and group endorsements from thrift and community banking associations in several states.
"We are growing, and the big guys are noticing," said Mr. Wolfson, president of Integrated Delivery Technologies Corp. in Buffalo, which administers Cartel.
Among the latest signings are Cattaraugus County Bank, National Bank of Delaware County, Wilbur National Bank, and Rochester Postal Federal Credit Union.
Mr. Wolfson also announced this month that William Blair Co. of Chicago, a major financial backer, completed the private placement of securities on behalf of Cartel.
"Management was pleased it was able to make this type of offering to its participating financial institutions as well as other qualified investors," Mr. Wolfson said, adding that it is another sign that his company is "on solid ground and moving in the right direction."
Expanding its supermarket penetration, Cartel said it signed an agreement with Wakefern Food Corp. to deploy various electronic banking devices in its northeastern Shop-Rite stores.
Also, Cartel said under a previously announced deal it is up and running in 26 Stewarts Convenience Stores in New York State, and expects to be entering other locations in that chain.