Pulse EFT Association, the southwestern regional automated teller machine network, has announced fee reductions for 1997.

Effective Jan. 1, the ATM switch fee for Pulse transactions will drop from 5 cents to 4.5 cents.

The point-of-sale switch fee for issuers of the network's Pulse Pay service will be reduced from 2 cents to 1 cent. However, authorization fees paid to issuers of these transactions will be increased, from 5 cents to 8 cents.

The company also said it will distribute $2.5 million in 1996 switch fees to member banks. Rebate checks will be sent to all Pulse members in the first quarter of 1997.

Along with the fee reductions, the Pulse board said, all nonmember ATM operators that use the Pulse mark on their terminals will be assessed a monthly fee of $30 for each machine.

The network also announced that for the first time, it topped five million point-of-sale transactions in October, a 53% increase over the same period last year.

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In the third quarter, the MAC regional ATM network, owned by Electronic Payment Services Inc. in Wilmington, Del., expanded into five new states, adding to the 40 at the end of the second quarter.

New states on the network's roster are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.

The network also added 59 financial institutions across 20 states in the third quarter, for a total of 160 new MAC members this year.

MAC also opened and staffed a new development office in Tampa. The office will provide Tandem and client/server support for the systems development organization.

MAC reported 289 million switch transactions in the third quarter, up 15% from third quarter 1995.

And a new volume record was set in August, when the network processed 99.8 million switch transactions.

MAC point of sale volume averaged 7.8 million per month, up 31% over the third quarter of last year.

The network also said 1,928 ATMs were installed during the third quarter, bringing its total to 14,258.

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