The Federal Reserve Board has approved the planned merger of the NYCE and Yankee 24 electronic banking networks.

The two operating companies, Now York Switch Corp. and NENI Corp., are to be merged as Infinet Payment Services Inc., Hackensack, N.J.

The Fed approved a wide range of activities including home banking, automated bill payment, automated teller machine driving, point of sale equipment leasing and reselling, check verification, and dispending of travelers checks and postage stamps at ATMs.

Addressing competitive implications, the Fed approval document asserted that "a number of factors should mitigate the loss of the Yankee 24 network."

These factors include Infinet's operating rules, which open the network to third-party processors, allow members to belong to multiple networks, and enable members paying transaction fees to decide the route a transaction will take.

lnfinet will tie together about 15,000 ATMs and 25,000 point of sale debit merchants.

-- Matt Barthel

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