Just two short years ago, few people in the banking business paid much attention to a company called Concord EFS, a Memphis-based transaction processor that specialized in providing electronic payment and payroll services, primarily to trucking companies and convenience stores.

But in less than two years, Concord has acquired three major electronic funds transfer networks - Star Systems, Cash Station, and MAC - and thereby catapulted itself into the dominant position in the online debit and automated teller machine processing industry. The publicly owned company has generated great interest and concern among bankers because it is the first time these EFT networks have not been controlled and operated by bankers.

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