Europay International, the Waterloo, Belgium-based European payments association closely allied with MasterCard International, announced an extension of edc/Maestro acceptance in Italy.

Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, one of the Italy's five biggest banks, has opened 6,000 point of sale terminals to the electronic debit cards. Europay said it expects its Italian network to have 70,000 terminals in time for the next summer travel season.

Banca Nazionale also said it will begin issuing a full range of Europay card products next year.

"We are convinced that the expansion of services available on our acceptance network will make a substantial contribution to BNL's revenue opportunities by attracting millions of new cardholders," said Mario Arfe, the Rome-based bank's head of retail banking.

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