Honor Technologies of Maitland, Fla., and Star System Inc. of San Diego, two of the biggest automated teller machine networks, are planning to make a merger announcement Tuesday, industry sources said.
The deal would create by far the largest regional electronic funds transfer network and the first stretching coast-to-coast, with 71,000 ATMs. Together, Honor and Star switched more than 1.3 billion automated teller and point of sale transactions last year.
Officials of those networks set an announcement for Tuesday but made no further comment.
Industry observers said one factor in the move was consolidation among the networks' bank owners. Honor and Star are also seen as wanting to create a national network brand that can compete against a new on-line debit card from Visa U.S.A., due in October.
With economies of scale, the combined company could more effectively compete against both the Visa and MasterCard national networks, sources said.