Star's President Sees Room to Grow

While some other networks slog through saturated markets, Star System Inc. - the fastest growing regional ATM network - is still finding plenty of room to grow.

Ronald V. Congemi, president of San Diego, Calif.-based Star, is hoping to ride an expected upswing in the emerging point-of-sale market. Despite mergers that may drain membership fees, he is also angling to annex three "major" institutions on Star's home turf.

Even in a sluggish economy, the result may be substantial growth. Mr. Congemi, a former executive with Visa International, projects Star's volume will grow 43% this year and 26% in 1992.

"We've had periodic pinches but nothing traumatic," he said.

For the past five years, industry newsletters have named Star the fastest growing regional automated teller system. If the network meets Mr. Congemi's expectations, it will pile up a whopping 260 million transactions next year.

Among regional networks, Star now ranks largest in machines, with 12,000 in six western states. Its monthly average of 18.5 million switch transactions makes it second only to Corestates Financial Corp.'s MAC.

Mr. Congemi boasts that Star's staff of 17 has the fewest employees relative to monthly transaction volume of any network in the country. "We've not added personnel in two and a half years," he said. "Each person does multiple things and they do it economically."

PHOTO : RONALD V. CONGEMI is looking to play a big role in point of sale.

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