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Canadian Tire and MasterCard Gear Up for Canadian Chip Card Roll-Out

Canadian Tire Stores Readying to Accept Chip Cards

TORONTO, May 23, 2007 – Canadian Tire and MasterCard Canada today announced that all of Canadian Tire Retail’s 468 stores will be ready to accept MasterCard® chip cards by the end of 2008. Canadian Tire is setting up its software, point-of-sale systems, and retail processes to be chip-ready as MasterCard issuers gear up to introduce chip cards across the Canadian market.

Since 2005 MasterCard has been working closely with its Canadian card issuers, the five major Canadian payment processing companies (which connect merchants to the MasterCard payment system), and merchants to get ready for the broad-based introduction of chip cards in Canada by 2010.

“As a major national retailer visited by 40 per cent of all Canadians every week, Canadian Tire’s chip readiness signals significant progress towards preparing the Canadian marketplace for chip,” said Kevin Stanton, President of MasterCard Canada. “Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes planning and preparation with issuers, processors, and business partners.  Later this year and next, Canadian MasterCard cardholders will begin to receive their chip cards with national critical mass expected by 2010.”

The majority of merchants will be made chip-ready by their payment processors which are upgrading point-of-sale terminals to be chip compatible. But large national retailers like Canadian Tire run proprietary payment processing systems which require custom preparation and planning. MasterCard’s approach to merchant chip adoption has been designed specifically to accommodate this need for customization with the benefit of accelerating deployment of chip by large, integrated merchants like Canadian Tire.

“Canadian Tire wants to be ready to offer our customers the newest innovation in enhanced payment security and convenience,” said Marco Marrone, President of Canadian Tire Financial Services. “MasterCard has been very helpful in assisting our preparations for chip. They’re approaching the implementation to chip in a very business-friendly way by taking our operations requirements into account and minimizing costs.”

About Chip Cards
The new chip cards carry a small computer processor chip with memory, logic and a configuration of software applications, significantly enhancing security. The chip holds information in an encrypted form and requires the use of a PIN (personal identification number) to complete the payment process. Canadian MasterCard cards will also continue to carry magnetic stripes in order to be compatible with non-chip payment sites and locations. Credit and debit cards are being upgraded to chip in order to enhance the security of payments and particularly to protect the Canadian market from global fraud migration as chip rolls out in other countries. Already more than 70 per cent of payment cards issued in Europe are chip-enabled.

MasterCard’s value added chip solutions known as MasterCard OneSMART™, gives merchants, acquirers, and issuers what they need to introduce a variety of exciting chip-based programs.  MasterCard’s OneSMART bundles together many of the components necessary to leverage the investment in chip and realize new business opportunities. OneSMART solutions help card issuing institutions increase: customer acquisition; customer retention; card activation and usage.

For more information on chip in Canada: www.mastercard.ca/chip.

About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 16 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercard.com.

About Canadian Tire
Canadian Tire Corporation operates more than 1,100 general merchandise and apparel retail stores, gas stations and car washes in an inter-related network of businesses engaged in retail, financial services and petroleum. Canadian Tire Retail, Canada's most shopped general merchandise retailer, with 468 stores operated by Associate Dealers across Canada offers a unique mix of products and services through three specialty categories in which the organization is the market leader — Automotive, Sports and Leisure, and Home Products. www.canadiantire.ca offers Canadians the opportunity to shop online. PartSource is an automotive parts specialty chain with 64 stores in Canada. Canadian Tire Financial Services manages over 4 million Canadian Tire MasterCard accounts and markets related financial products and services for retail and petroleum customers. Canadian Tire Petroleum is one of the country’s largest and most productive independent retailers with over 265 outlets. Mark’s Work Wearhouse is one of the country’s leading apparel retailers operating 340 stores in Canada. Over 50,000 Canadians work across Canadian Tire’s organization from coast-to-coast in the enterprise’s retail, financial services and petroleum businesses.

For more information:

Jennifer Reed
MasterCard Canada
416-365-6664
Jennifer_reed@mastercard.com

Julie Wilson
MasterCard Canada
416-365-5594
julie_wilson@mastercard.com

Caroline Casselman
Canadian Tire Corporation
416-480-8159
caroline.casselman@cantire.com