NEW YORK -- MasterCard International Inc. said the number of its card accounts worldwide grew more than 20% from last year's first-quarter account total, to 177.3 million.

In the United States, the number of MasterCard accounts grew at the fastest pace in more than 10 years. In the first quarter of 1994, accounts grew by 15.3%, to 86.4 million.

Cards in circulation grew by 19.6%, to 227.9 million, from 190.5 million at the same time last year, and gross dollar volume for the quarter grew almost 25%, to $80.5 billion.

In addition, more than 40,000 automated teller machines were added to the MasterCard/Cirrus network in the first quarter of 1994. This brings the total to 168,900.

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