PNC Bank Corp. has joined the NYCE regional electronic banking network, becoming the largest bank to do so since Citicorp in 1994.

With the addition of Pittsburgh-based PNC, the 13th-largest U.S. banking company, Infinet Payment Services Inc., the Hackensack, N.J., operator of the NYCE network, now includes 10 of the top 25.

NYCE has connections with 15,308 ATMs in 24 states, and PNC Bank extends NYCE's reach to its 1,250 ATMs in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, and New Jersey. One of the top 10 deployers of ATMs, PNC Bank adds 425 branch ATMs and 825 off premises in the NYCE area.

"This expands the access and utility to NYCE cardholders into regions where we've had limited access," said Richard P. Yanak, the network's president and chief executive.

NYCE's membership is concentrated in the Northeast, from New Jersey to New England. PNC's pending acquisitions of Midlantic Corp. and its purchase of Chemical Banking Corp.'s New Jersey branches influenced the decision to join NYCE, officials said.

Mr. Yanak said PNC's move reflects what's happening with interstate banking. As banks cross state lines, he said, they can capitalize on the ATM infrastructures in place to derive new revenue.

PNC is one of the equity-holding members of Wilmington, Del.-based Electronic Payment Systems Inc., owner of the MAC regional network. MAC will remain the bank's primary affiliation, a bank spokesman said, adding that it is a member of other regionals such as Quest in Kentucky.

"In joining forces with NYCE, we will better be able to serve our current customers who travel outside of Pennsylvania and Delaware to New York and throughout New England," said James S. Walker, vice president and manager of self-service banking for PNC Bank.

PNC Bank and NYCE cardholders will reap the benefits of interchange beginning in October.

Overall, PNC has nearly a million PNC cardholders, including ATM cards and PNC check cards, 3,200 point of sale merchants, and 1,400 ATMs.

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