Servizi Interbancari, an Italian bank service bureau, said it has agreed to connect 40,000 point of sale terminals to the edc/Maestro debit network.

The announcement came on the heels of a 6,000-terminal commitment by Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, one of the nation's top commercial banks, and put Italy on course to have 70,000 of the on-line debit terminals in place by next summer's tourist season.

The Rome office of Europay International, MasterCard's European affiliate, will coordinate the network connections and quality audits. Servizi Interbancari, a minority shareholder in Europay and service provider to many of Italy's biggest banks and savings banks, will be responsible for marketing and brand awareness.

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