PNC Financial Services Group, which in March acquired RBC Bank USA and its nearly 1 million customers in the Southeast, is bolstering its ATM presence in the region through a deal to brand 191 machines in Harris Teeter grocery stores.

Pittsburgh-based PNC is working with Cardtronics (CAMT), which owns and manages the NCR machines under a contract it signed with Harris Teeter last fall.

By Labor Day, PNC will have branded ATMs in 138 Harris Teeter stores across North and South Carolina and in 53 stores in Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, Cardtronics and PNC said in their announcement Monday.

The deal helps PNC "gain critical mass in very short order," says Nick Pappathopoulos, a Cardtronics spokesman. A PNC representative was not immediately available to comment.

PNC and Cardtronics have been working together since 2005, when the bank struck a deal in February of that year to brand 150 Cardtronics machines at Walgreen drug stores in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

PNC now brands some 585 Cardtronics ATMs across eight states and the District of Columbia, Pappathopoulos says. Cardtronics deploys the other machines in CVS pharmacies in Indiana and in Hess and Hess Express service-station locations across Florida.

Pappathopoulos declined to disclose the financial arrangements Cardtronics has with PNC.

None of the PNC-branded Cardtronics machines participate in the ISO's Allpoint surcharge-free ATM network, though PNC's customers may access the machines for free, he says. PNC, which serves more than 6 million customers, has more than 7,100 ATMs nationwide.

Under Cardtronics' ATM deal with Harris Teeter stores, most of the machines will carry the PNC brand, with the exception of stores located outside PNC's market, Pappathopoulos says. In some cases, Cardtronics is replacing ATMs supported by other banks, including Bank of America (BAC) he says.

The machines will handle cards supporting all of the major ATM-network brands, Pappathopoulos says.

Cardtronics has similar ATM-branding deals with financial institutions such as Citigroup (NYSE: C), Citizens Financial Group, JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Sovereign Bank and SunTrust Banks (STI), said David Albertazzi, a senior analyst at Aite Group. In all, some 16,000 of the 65,000 ATMs Cardtronics owns and manages are under contract with financial institutions, he says.

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