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.