CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The French banking company BNP Paribas said Monday that it will join Bank of America Corp., Barclays PLC, Deutsche Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, and Westpac in the "Global ATM Alliance," a no-surcharge group created as a perk for customers who travel internationally.

The group's first major initiative is to offer free access to its members' 23,000 automated teller machines in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Bank of America customers will be able to use BNP Paribas' ATMs without charge starting Aug. 1, and starting next month they will be able to use machines belonging to the other four member banking companies without charge.

Ultimately, the Global ATM Alliance hopes to expand its service to every continent.

"Extending the ATM network into France is a terrific added value for our customers who travel in Europe," said Bill Raymond, Bank of America's manager of ATM management and development.

BNP Paribas has 2,700 ATMs throughout France.

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