Wachovia and GE Money form credit card alliance

Source: Wachovia

Wachovia Corp. today announced a strategic partnership with GE Money - Corporate Payment Services (CPS) to provide commercial and purchasing cards to its wholesale and treasury services customers.

The agreement further supports Wachovia's announcement last year to re-enter the credit card business as a direct issuer.

Under the terms of the partnership, Wachovia will sell, underwrite, manage and own the asset portfolio, which will feature MasterCard as its preferred brand. CPS will provide all back-office functions and a rich information- reporting and analytical toolkit that is essential to enhancing companies cash management and procurement capabilities.

"We are extremely pleased to have a partner that is as focused on service excellence and customer-centric product design as we are," said Steve Boehm, president of Wachovia Card Services. "We have created a truly unique, interdependent relationship. We chose GE to capitalize on their expertise in the commercial and purchasing card market. We also are pleased to provide them with unmatched distribution capabilities in the wholesale banking and middle market segment. We look forward to building a successful business with them over the next several years."

"This relationship should prove to be a great combination of strengths that will drive growth," said Jeffery R. Dye, president of CPS. "Leveraging Wachovia's market presence and customer relationships with GE's extensive capabilities in commercial card servicing and technology should create compelling value for the customer."

The Wachovia wholesale card business will be managed by Laura Rother, a member of the team led by Bob Ryan, head of Product Innovation and Management. The company expects to begin selling its new product line to customers in the fourth quarter.

Wachovia announced in November 2005 that it had terminated its existing joint marketing agreement with MBNA and re-entered the credit card business. Wachovia, one of the leading retail banking and brokerage businesses, introduced its new retail credit card products in July. These products feature an expandable rewards program, which allows customers to combine debit and credit card points, and provide a customer-friendly fee structure, including waiving certain nuisance and over-limit fees.

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