European consumers now carry 283.2 million Europay-branded cards as of mid-year, an increase of 34 million cards from last year, according to this week’s The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com]). The number of Eurocard-MasterCard credit/charge cards rose 14% to reach 73 million. On the debit side, cards bearing Maestro, eurocheque and/or Cirrus brands kept their market lead with 210.1 million cards, a 14% increase. Nearly 194 million of these cards are Maestro branded. Europay’s acceptance networks broke the 300,000 barrier with the number of ATMs increasing by 21% to almost 305,500. The number of POS terminals accepting Maestro jumped 17% to reach over 2.7 million, while close to 5 million merchants now accept Eurocard-MasterCard cards, a 12% increase. The number of transactions generated by cards bearing Europay brands grew by 15% in comparison with last year, to reach 12 billion. Associated volume increased by 13% and passed the ‘1 trillion mark.