NEW YORK, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/– American Express and CanadianImperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) today announced a milestone agreement for
CIBC to issue American Express-branded credit cards in Canada.
The news means that American Express has established its first
card-issuing partnership in Canada. In addition, CIBC has become the first
Canadian bank to offer both American Express and VISA credit cards, offering
consumers greater convenience and choice.
“Today’s news marks a very significant step forward in American Express’
partnership strategy,” said Steve McCurdy, vice president, American Express
Global Network Services, the unit that manages the Company’s third-party card-
issuing business. “The partnership is yet another example of banks seeing
value in doing business with American Express.”
“CIBC is one of the most prestigious financial institutions in North
America and Canada is a critically important credit card market for us,”
Mr. McCurdy continued. “American Express now has a strong local partner to
accelerate the expansion of our business in Canada.”
Over the past five years, American Express has formed 74 card-issuing
partnerships with banks and other institutions around the world. The agreement
with CIBC establishes an important new channel to expand the number of
American Express-branded products in Canada and will generate more spending
volume through the Company’s merchant network. CIBC is American Express’ third
network partner in North America, following Banco Popular and Banco Santander
in Puerto Rico.
Already the largest VISA issuer in Canada, CIBC will issue a line of card
products under the name “entourage,” leveraging American Express’ powerful
brand name and strong product development capabilities.
Financial details of the agreement are not disclosed.
“Our customers are the winners with this announcement,” said Christine
Croucher, executive vice president, CIBC card products division. “CIBC’s
alliance with American Express brings them greater innovation, more choice,
global assistance and the ability to make secure purchases over the Internet.”
The CIBC “entourage” line is being launched with three new credit cards:
– CIBC entourage American Express Card, Canada’s first smart chip credit
card available nationally which provides greater security for online
– CIBC entourage Platinum American Express Card, with exclusive features
and benefits; and
– CIBC entourage Business American Express Card offering special
benefits for small and medium-sized businesses.
The CIBC “entourage” smart card is a credit card embedded with a
smart-chip microprocessor that functions like a mini-computer, capable of
carrying multiple applications. Initially, the smart-card technology will be
used to enhance the security of purchases, particularly for shopping on the
Internet. Additional functions can be added over time such as applications for
managing loyalty points programs or conducting electronic banking activities.
Cardmembers can use their CIBC “entourage” Cards at American Express
merchant locations in more than 200 countries and territories, and benefit
from American Express’ global service through its 1,700 Travel Service
Locations and more than 500,000 ATMs around the world.
Under the new agreement, CIBC will issue the cards, own the accounts and
handle the customer service support for the entourage American Express Cards,
including authorizations, billing and credit management. CIBC will also be
responsible for marketing the Cards to millions of existing and new customers
in Canada. The CIBC “entourage” brand will be supported by an extensive
marketing campaign, including television advertisements, direct mail, online
media and various outdoor media.
Today’s announcement marks an expansion of the existing business
relationships between CIBC and American Express. CIBC provides treasury, cash
management and foreign exchange services for American Express. It is one of
the largest distributors of American Express Travelers Cheques in Canada.
American Express provides corporate travel services for CIBC.
About American Express Global Network Services
Since 1996, American Express has been aggressively pursuing a strategy of
opening its merchant network and card product portfolio to third-party issuers
around the world. By leveraging its global infrastructure and the powerful
appeal of the American Express brand, the Company aims to gain even broader
reach for its network worldwide. American Express has established more than
70 card-issuing partnership arrangements in close to 80 countries.* For more
information about the American Express Global Network Services, please visit
* In the United States, a federal court has ruled that VISA and MasterCard
cannot prevent U.S. banks from issuing cards on the American Express network
as a result of the Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against the two
card associations. American Express has consequently resumed conversations
with a number of banks in the U.S. about possible card-issuing ventures.
CIBC is a leading North American financial institution offering more than
eight million personal banking and business customers a full range of products
and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches
and offices across Canada, in the United States and around the world. CIBC is
a leader in electronic banking, with more than three million e-banking
customers accessing telephone and Internet banking. CIBC is also Canada’s
leading credit card issuer and offers a broad range of choice and value. To
find other news releases and information about CIBC, visit the bank’s Media
Center at http://www.cibc.com.