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Polish Bank Signs Network Deal

Pekao signs a multiyear ATM network participation agreement with Euronet Worldwide.

Pekao, the second largest retail bank in Poland, has signed a multiyear ATM network participation agreement with Euronet Worldwide, a provider of payment solutions. Pekao is a subsidiary of UniCredito Italiano, one of the largest banks in Europe.

Pekao's 3.8 million cardholders will have access to Euronet ATMs as an extension of the bank's ATM network. Euronet's 450 ATMs in Poland will have the same price and functionality as Pekao's 1,090 proprietary ATMs.

By joining forces with Euronet, Pekao will offer customers the largest ATM network in Poland.

Transactions will be switched directly to the bank for authorization and settlement. The bank will pay a fixed fee per transaction to Euronet and has committed to monthly transaction minimums.

By allowing customers to access more ATMs, Pekao expects to gain a competitive advantage, said Sebastian Luczak, Pekao spokesman. "We expect other banks will follow Pekao to adjust their offer to the market standard we have set."

Pekao customers will be able to buy prepaid mobile airtime through ATMs or directly charge their mobile phones. Leawood, Kan.-based Euronet has agreements with mobile operators in Poland-Centertel, Plus, and Era-ensuring convenient access to prepaid mobile accounts.

Poland is the largest and fastest growing market in central Europe, noted Michael J. Brown, chairman and CEO of Euronet Worldwide.

"By reducing costs to consumers and enabling access to a wider set of ATMs, our friends at Pekao will greatly increase their competitive advantage on the Polish market," Brown said.

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