The NYCE board of directors also approved a recapitalization plan that would provide the funds to acquire other networks should the opportunity arise. NYCE declined to disclose the amount of capital it is adding.

Mr. Huemer, a former Visa International executive, helped developed the association's debit strategies in the early 1980s.

Ambitions Declared

"I have been brought in to consolidate our presence in the Northeast and to come up with an expansion strategy when the consolidation is done," Mr. Huemer said.

"We are not going to remain just a regional network -- we are going to be a major player."

The New York Cash Exchange has been conducting an executive search for almost a year. Still, yesterday's move were seen as a reaction to the July announcement of that CoreStates Financial Corp., Banc One Corp., PNC Financial Corp. and Society Corp. would pool their ATMs and POS terminals to become the largest US. electronic banking network.

The information of the new company, Electronic Payment Services Inc., is being widely regarded as the starting gun for a race toward consolidation of the EFT industry, in which the strong will get stronger and the weak will be swallowed whole.

The addition of Mr. Huemer and the injection of funds into the business is NYCE's way of saying it plans to be among the consolidation's survivors. One of the network's first moves might be to purchase Yankee 24, a Wallingford, Conn.-based network that NYCE recently bid to acquire, according to sources close to the talks.

"The name of the game is creating transaction volume, and for NYCE that is going to mean creating some new alliances," said David Robertson, president of the Nilson Report, an EFT industry newsletter based in Santa Monica, Calif.

Bigger Volume Manageable

"At the very least, [the recent moves] signal that NYCE recognizes the time to move is now."

While Mr. Huemer would not comment on specific acquisition plans, he said that NYCE would soon be capable of greatly increasing transaction volume.

Alan P. Pohlman, who was replaced as president by Mr. Huemer, will oversee the expanded operations as chief operating offer.

NYCE's owners include by Bank of New York, Chemical Banking Corp., Chase Manhattan Corp., National Westminster Bancorp, Marine Midland Banks Inc., Fleet Financial Group, Union Trust Co., and BayBanks Inc. It links more than 11,000 ATMS in 24 states and more than 10,000 POS terminals.

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