Magazine article American Banker

BankMate, 12th Largest ATM Network, Going on Block

Magazine article American Banker

BankMate, 12th Largest ATM Network, Going on Block

Article excerpt

In the latest sign of consolidation among regional electronic banking networks, St. Louis-based BankMate has put itself on the selling block.

The banks that own the network, the nation's 12th largest, "have decided this is an opportune time to capitalize on the investment we have made in the switch," said Robert W. Chenoweth, chairman of BankMate's parent, Monetary Transfer System.

Monetary Transfer System is owned by Boatmen's Bancshares Inc. of St. Louis, Mercantile Bancorp. of St. Louis, and United Missouri Bancshares of Kansas City. Mr. Chenoweth is an executive vice president at United Missouri's flagship bank in Kansas City.

In December, the three owners sold off their jointly owned transaction processing company, Credit Systems Inc., to First Data Resources in Omaha, the largest credit card processor.

Credit Systems handled the processing for the BankMate automated teller machines and point-of-sale terminals. Mr. Chenoweth said the decision to sell BankMate was unrelated to the sale of Credit Systems.

Industry observers said a BankMate deal would continue a trend in which an increasingly smaller circle of players are coming to dominate the once fragmented regional electronic banking business.

The trend is accelerating in the Midwest, which is evolving from single-state or regional to multistate networks, and is home to over a third of the nation's 50-odd regional systems.

BankMate "is an interesting piece of the midwestern consolidation. It's not a cornerstone, but it's certainly a good piece," said Richard Speer, chairman of Speer & Associates in Atlanta. …

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