SunTrust Banks Inc. has signed a multiyear agreement in which First Data Corp.’s Star network will provide PIN-debit point-of-sale and ATM access, the Atlanta-based bank announced May 3. Terms were not disclosed.
The bank previously used Visa’s Interlink POS and Plus ATM networks. In January, SunTrust announced it was switching its signature-debit card portfolio to MasterCard Worldwide from Visa Inc. (see story).
“We went from exclusively Visa to MasterCard and Star,” Hugh Suhr, a bank spokesperson, tells PaymentsSource. SunTrust expects to complete the changeover by yearend, Suhr says. A Visa spokesperson declined comment on SunTrust’s latest announcement.
SunTrust made the switch because its executives believe Star is superior to Visa in terms of product innovation and commitment to the PIN-debit business, Suhr says, who did not provide specific examples.
As of Dec. 31, SunTrust had issued 4.4 million debit cards, including 4.3 million signature- and 40,000 PIN-only debit cards. The bank also owns and operates 2,800 ATMs in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Star offers PIN-less debit, and SunTrust plans to take advantage of the service to support cardholders’ recurring utility-bill payments, Suhr says. “We are looking at every payment innovation Star offers,” he says.