Giro Bankcard Ltd. in Budapest, a joint stock company with majority ownership by the National Bank of Hungary, has implemented a central electronicpayments switch-and-authorization system for both automated teller machine and point-of-sale transactions for Hungary.

The software for the installation was supplied by Applied Communications Inc., an Omaha-based company that specializes in developing technology to support electronic- payment systems.

"Giro acts as an exchange intermediary to member banks which can exchange ATM transactions, serving a similar function to Plus or Cirrus in the United States," said John Byrcroft, an ACI executive based in London.

A Newer Market

"It's a significant breakthrough in the Hungarian market where ATMs are relatively new," he added.

Giro Bankcard is using ACI's new BASE24 Release 5.0 software, a transaction-processing system that runs on Tandem computers.

"BASE24 provides us with the flexibility and sealability to meet the individual requirements in each bank in addition to gaining the reliability of a 24-hour faulttolerant system. Both large and small banks in our consortium can benefit," said Bela David, managing director of Giro Bankcard.

35 ATMs Installed

"We needed a system that could expand as we bring more banks on line," the executive added.

To date, ACI has installed 35 ATMs throughout the country. According to ACI's Mr. Bycroft, an additional 65 units will be rolled out by the beginning of 1995.

Ms. Sullivan is a freelance writer based in New York.

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