PNC Bank Corp.'s merchant services division and the Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust have joined forces to offer card processing services to 2,200 municipalities, school districts, and public authorities.

The program is meant to help the agencies collect funds faster and enable acceptance of debit and credit card payments.

"We have signed several significant contracts with government entities that view card acceptance as a means of improving financial performance," said Paula Kramer, general manager of PNC Merchant Services.

The Local Government Investment Trust, a customer, approached the merchant services division about offering the service to its members for such collections as parks and recreation fees, water and sewage bills, taxes, and fines.

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