ALPHARETTA, Ga., April 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Certegy Inc.
(NYSE: CEY) today announced a multi-year agreement to provide check cashing
services to Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY), one of the largest food and drug
retailers in North America. The agreement will provide Safeway customers with
a quick and convenient method to cash payroll checks in nearly 1,500 locations
throughout the United States. Once the consumer completes a simple
authentication process, Certegy will warranty that a check presented by the
consumer will be paid. The service is expected to be fully implemented in
stores nationwide by mid-summer 2003.
"Check cashing is a natural extension of our core check risk management
business, and we are extremely pleased to add Safeway to our growing list of
check cashing partners," said Lee Kennedy, chairman, president and chief
executive officer of Certegy. "This service not only provides consumers with
a safe, low-cost method of converting checks into cash-it also enhances sales
for the retailer by building customer loyalty."
"Customer convenience was the key driver in our decision to offer check
cashing in our stores," stated Brian Dowling, Vice President Corporate Affairs
of Safeway. "Certegy's expertise in check risk management and check cashing,
combined with their reputation for customer service, were the determining
factors in our selection of a strategic partner," he added.
Certegy first introduced payroll check cashing services in 1999 with its
PayCheck Accept(R) product, which was specifically designed for use at
supermarket courtesy counters. Certegy has since expanded its product line to
include in-lane and kiosk based services for supermarkets and convenience
stores. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, check-cashing
outlets cash more than 150 million checks worth more than $60 billion on an
annual basis. Certegy's revolutionary approach to check cashing enables
retailers to build loyalty with current customers and attract new shoppers
into their stores by offering convenient, affordable financial services
primarily to the "under" and "unbanked" population.
About Certegy Inc.
Certegy (NYSE: CEY) provides credit and debit processing, check risk
management, check cashing and merchant processing to over 6,000 financial
institutions, 117,000 retailers and 100 million consumers worldwide.
Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, Certegy maintains a strong global
presence with operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland,
France, Chile, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. As a leading payment
services provider, Certegy offers a comprehensive range of transaction
processing services, check risk management solutions and integrated customer
support programs that facilitate the exchange of business and consumer
payments. Certegy generated over $1.0 billion in revenue in 2002. For more
information on Certegy, please visit www.certegy.com .
About Safeway Inc.
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 50 Company and one of the largest food and drug
retailers in North America based on sales. The company currently operates
1,695 stores in the United States and Canada, and has approximately 172,000
employees. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock
Exchange under the symbol SWY.
The statements in this release include forward-looking statements that are
based on current expectations, assumptions, estimates, and projections about
Certegy and our industry. They are not guarantees of future performance and
are subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside of Certegy's
control, that may cause actual results to differ significantly from what is
expressed in those statements. The factors that could, either individually or
in the aggregate, affect our performance include the following, which are
described in greater detail in the section entitled "Certain Factors Affecting
Forward-Looking Statements" in our 2002 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with
the SEC: Our ability to maintain or improve our competitive positions against
current and potential competitors; the level of economic growth or other
factors affecting demand for our products and services; loss of key customer
contracts or strategic relationships; changes in regulation or industry
standards applicable to our businesses or those of our customers; risks
associated with investments and operations in foreign countries, including
exchange rate fluctuations and local political, social, and economic factors,
and those other risks listed in the above-referenced section of our Form 10-K.
SOURCE Certegy Inc.