Compuserve Inc. has extended its transaction processing and network services into Mexico and the Pacific Rim.

With the additions, Compuserve's network and support services are accessible by banks, retailers, and other transaction processing businesses in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

The Columbus, Ohiobased information services company, an H&R Block subsidiary, expects to build on its North American transaction processing base, in part by serving its "network partners" as they expand internationally, said Stephen Fickes, director of Compuserve's retail services group.

It said it can serve Mexico through a variety of connection options - cellular and radio networks as well as conventional dial calling - which get around the lack of telecommunications infrastructure in remote parts of the country.

Service in Guam is available through local dial connections.

Extending the Expertise

"Through our commitment to the retail industry, we have developed an optimized POS network in the U.S.," Mr. Fickes said. "It just makes sense to extend this expertise to other countries."

Compuserve recently marked its 10th anniversary as the provider of dial-up access to San Francisco-based Visa U.S.A.'s VisaNet system for point of sale authorizations and settlement. It began as one of the pioneering, customized communications networks using packet switching technology.

Compuserve's retail services group, also based in San Francisco, provides card authorizations, data capture, and batch settlement.

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