Western Union Money Orders on Amex ATMs

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Western Union Financial Inc. and American Express Co. will team up to allow consumers to pick up wired money at 6,000 Amex automated teller machines, the companies said Thursday.The service will be tested on 350 machines in Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco early in the third quarter. The companies are aiming to provide the service on 6,000 terminals within the Amex network by early 2001. Western Union, a subsidiary of First Data Corp., plans to enroll other ATM owners and operators.

Consumers would send funds from a Western Union agent to any participating ATM in the United States. No bank card would be necessary to collect the funds; recipients would simply type in an identification number and system-assigned confirmation code relayed to them by the sender.

Western Union acquired the exclusive license rights to the technology covering cardless ATM transactions from Electronic Data Systems Corp. of Plano, Tex. EDS will provide data processing and transaction switching services to support the new network.

The partnership "marks a new era for Western Union," said Mike Yerington, president of the company's North American division. "By creating a fully automated means of transferring funds, we will achieve a level of unsurpassed security and convenience for consumers. As a result, we expect our overall transaction volume to grow."

- Helen Stock

Provident Bankshares to Buy Harbor Federal

BALTIMORE - Provident Bankshares Corp. announced plans to acquire Harbor Federal Bancorp, the parent of $244 million-asset Harbor Federal Savings Bank, for $32 million in stock.The $5.2 billion-asset holding company for Provident Bank would exchange 1.256 shares of its stock for each Harbor share. Harbor has nine branches and $181 million in deposits.

The acquisition would extend Provident's presence in the Baltimore metropolitan area and increase its market share to 6%, said Provident chairman and chief executive Peter M. Martin. Due to overlap, four branches would probably be closed but no layoffs are expected, he said.

The merger, which would be accounted for as a purchase, is expected to close in the third quarter.

Chase Manhattan Buying L.A. Asset Manager

NEW YORK - Chase Manhattan Corp. said Thursday that it had agreed to acquire a privately owned Los Angeles firm that specializes in asset management services for individuals.The terms of the deal for 38-employee Goldman, Lichtenberg, Wasserman, & Grossman were not disclosed, nor was the amount of money the firm manages.

The capabilities that the firm will bring Chase include accounting and tax advisory services. Goldman Lichtenberg will be folded into Chase's global private bank, which is run by Maria Elena Lagomasino.

The deal, which requires regulatory approval, is scheduled to close in the third quarter.

- Liz Moyer

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