Mellon Bank Corp. has appointed David Johns as manager of its network services division.

Mr. Johns, who has been at Mellon since 1965, will manage merchant card processing and automated teller machine processing. He will report to Allan Woods, executive vice president and head of Mellon's information services.

He replaces John Beahn, who left the bank to work for Electronic Payment Services Inc., in Wilmington, Del., where he is chief marketing officer.

Mr. Johns was head of international services for Mellon, concentrating on cash management, capital markets, and trade services.

The 51-year-old executive said he will spend the next few months learning the business of network services. "In a lot of ways this is not a new business to me," said Mr. Johns, who's been involved in almost every service business at the bank. "The growth opportunities will be heavily on the electronic side."

Mr. Johns said his biggest challenge will be to differentiate from its competitors. "I don't want to fall into the me-too strategy."

He said he will take his time in establishing a strategic direction. "We're doing a whole bunch of tactical things, but if you establish a strategic direction and find out it's the wrong one, it's difficult to turn the organization around, so we want to be careful."

He will oversee 200 employees, and be responsible for relationships with 800 bank customers.

The business drives 27,000 ATMs in 35 states and offers a comprehensive ATM support package, including terminal driving, transaction processing, gateway switching, card management and support, and select off-line products.

Its merchant and debit card processing business supports more than 60,000 retail, wholesale and service industries, plus governmental agencies nationwide.

The network services division reported annual revenue of $45 million in 1994.

Commenting on industry and employee speculation that Mellon might sell the division, Mr. Johns said:

"I satisfied myself before I accepted this job that the bank was in this business, with no equivocation. It's an important business to the bank which will become more important over the next three to five years."

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