Executive vice president Transaction Processing Inc.

Janet S. Hartung recently left a safe, senior job at Mellon Bank Corp. to take an entrepreneurial risk.

The 38-year-old banker, highly respected in the industry's technology community, resigned as head of Mellon's network services business to join Transaction Processing Inc.

That Pittsburgh-based company, founded by former Mellon banker Bipin S. Shah, plans to buy and run companies that process automated teller machine and point-of-sale transactions.

Ms. Hartung, like her once and present boss, believes that such businesses can be better managed by technology companies than by banks. Industry insiders say she left Mellon only after failing to persuade it to spin off her network services unit.

The move to Mr. Shah's venture was not Ms. Hartung's first bold stroke. Soon after she joined Mellon, Ms. Hartung was instrumental in the sale of the bank's Cashstream teller machine service to cross-state rival CoreStates Financial Corp.

She believed that having its own ATM "brand name" hindered Mellon's drive to build market share in the business of processing transactions for other, shared networks.

"It was easier for me to see, because I was new," says Ms. Hartung. "We had good technical people in Cashstream, but we were losing the marketing battle to MAC, the "branded" ATM service of Philadelphia-based CoreStates.

The sale of Cashstream to a competitor raised eyebrows, but Ms. Hartung was vindicated. Mellon took transaction processing business away from such competitors as Electronic Data Systems Corp. In New England, within two years of the Cashstream sale, Mellon's customer base grew to 300 from four. Network services volume grew 20% a year during Ms. Hartung's tenure.

Janet's very much a pioneer," says Gary Staub, who worked with Ms. Hartung at Mellon and has also joined TPI. "She's one of the few who can see the forest for the trees."

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