Southeast Switch Inc., owner of the Honor EFT Network, has hired veteran electronic banking executive Paul Schmelzer to head its specialty network services unit.

Mr. Schmelzer, who played a pioneering role in the development of Wisconsin's Tyme network, will be responsible for direct sales, customer service, and product management for the Maitland, Fla.-based company's nonbranded services, such as off-line debit processing, automated teller machine driving, and card production services.

The network, when its pending mergers with Most and Alert are completed, will have 21,800 ATMs, 330,000 point of sale terminals, 40 million cardholders, and 1,840 bank members.

Mr. Schmelzer, 50, said the position as executive vice president and general manager provides a "real management challenge and an opportunity to bring some of the experience I've had in the past to help the organization grow" its noncore businesses.

Mr. Schmelzer, who has spent more than 20 years in electronic banking, is perhaps best known for his role in developing the Tyme network in the early 1970s when he was with Marine National Exchange Bank.

Most recently he was vice president of network services for Deluxe Data Corp. With that company for 10 years, he had close relationships with many regional ATM networks.

James H. Martin, president of Tyme, first met Mr. Schmelzer in 1978, and has been associated with him ever since. "Paul is one of the innovators, a very insightful individual," he said.

The two worked closely during Mr. Schmelzer's tenure at Deluxe Data. "Paul was the one we turned to when we needed help. We'll miss him," he said. "He will do a tremendous job at Honor."

Mr. Schmelzer has also held positions with Banc One Corp., International Verifact, and A.O. Smith, a software company purchased by Deluxe.

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