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An interbank network, also known as an ATM consortium or ATM network, is a computer network that enables ATM cards issued by a financial institutions which is a member of the network to be used to perform ATM transactions through ATMs that belong to another member of the network.
However, the functions which may be performed at the network ATM vary. For example, special services, such as the purchase of mobile phone airtime, may be available to own-bank but not to network ATM cardholders. Furthermore, the network ATM owner may charge a fee for use of network cards (in addition to any fees imposed by the own-bank).
Interbank networks enable ATM cards to have access to ATMs of other banks who are members of the network when their own bank's ATM is unavailable. This is especially convenient for travelers traveling abroad, where multinational interbank networks, like Plus or Cirrus, are widely available.
Around the world
In the Caribbean, the major interbank network is the ATH network. Most banks issue dual ATH and MasterCard/Visa cards, using the ATH network for ATM transactions and MasterCard/Visa for EFTPOS transactions. Some banks (such as BanReservas) issue ATH-only cards which use the ATH network for both ATM and EFTPOS transactions.
In Germany Girocard interbank network provides debit card service connecting virtually all German ATMs and banks.
In Indonesia, there are a number of ATM networks. Transfers between accounts is also possible by using these networks, even to an account in a different network; all one needs is the Bank code of the destination bank and the account number.
- ALTO is one of the earliest ATM networks.
- ATM Bersama.
- Link is a network that consists of 4 state owned banks: Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Bank Negara Indonesia, and Bank Tabungan Negara.
- PRIMA, with BCA (Bank Central Asia) as one of its well known members. It is also capable of doubling as an EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) network by using BCA's own EFTPOS network (Debit BCA).
- Treats Smart Shopping, with BNI-Maybank as one of its well known members.
In Japan, many Electronic funds transfer interbank networks exist.
- Major network is BANCS (urban bank) and YUCHO (Japan Post Bank)
- Minor network is ACS (local bank), SOCS (trust bank), LONGS (long term bank), SCS (secondary local bank), SINKIN-NETCASH (Shinkin bank), SANCS (credit union), ROCS (Labour Bank), JABANK-NET (Norinchukin Bank,).
Multibanco is the single unified interbank network in Portugal, that links the ATMs of all Portuguese banks. This network has existed since 1985 and is owned by SIBS (Sociedade Interbancária de Serviços). Multibanco is a fully integrated interbank network and offers many more services than those usually found in other countries' networks.
Multibanco also has a full-fledged EFTPOS network, the Multibanco Automatic Payment, and is also a provider of mobile phone and Internet banking services through the TeleMultibanco and MBNet services, respectively. It is also the provider of the Via Verde electronic toll collection service.
Due to the historic fragmented nature of banking in the United States there were a large number of small banks, which resulted in a number of different interbank networks being established mostly along geographic lines. These started to consolidate from the mid 1980s resulting in three major interbank networks by 2003 that had over 70% of the volume in the United States: