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Countdown partners with GE Capital to launch Visa card

M E D I A R E L E A S E

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Countdown partners with GE Capital to launch Visa credit card

29 August 2012: Countdown today announced that it has signed an alliance agreement with GE Capital to launch a credit card to New Zealand consumers.

Countdown Managing Director, Dave Chambers, said the credit card market was a logical entry point for the supermarket retailer into the financial services sector.

Mr Chambers said more than 80 million payment card transactions were processed through Countdown stores each year.

“With more than 2.5 million customer transactions each week in our 161 stores across New Zealand, our customer reach and retail experience puts us in an ideal position to deliver an offer that will stand out in the market," he said.

“We aim to bring a fresh new perspective to the industry, challenging the existing market and invigorating it with new and differentiated competition.”

Mr Chambers said GE Capital was chosen as the card issuer following an independent national tender process.

“GE Capital brings deep financial services knowledge, back-end customer service expertise as well as sound regulatory and process rigour to the table,” said Mr Chambers

GE Capital NZ Managing Director, Aaron Baxter, added: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Countdown and Visa to deliver an innovative new credit card offer to all Kiwis.”

“We already partner with a number of global retail brands and this is a natural extension of our existing relationships. Countdown is a strong Kiwi brand with significant customer reach and an extensive distribution network. This partnership will allow us to continue to build on our scale and reach in the marketplace,” Mr Baxter said.

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Sean Preston, Visa’s Executive Manager South East Asia and Australasia, said: “This partnership is a great example of the increasing competition in the New Zealand payments industry and further proof that innovation can come from non-traditional players. We are excited to be working with Countdown and GE Capital on the launch of this card.”

The plan to launch a credit card comes on the back of Countdown’s successful launch of its WISH Gift Card and the Groceries Only Card late last year and the highly successful financial services business in Australia for Woolworths.

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