Global Payments Inc. announced the migration of over 100,000 merchant accounts
to Global Payments’ state-of-the-art processing facilities.

As a result, Canadian merchants will begin seeing multiple enhancements
that will help simplify their businesses including superior chargeback
resolution, improved chargeback monitoring and enhanced statement details.
Currently serving over one million merchant locations across the United States
and Canada and processing 2.7 billion transactions a year, Global Payments is
one of North America’s leading electronic commerce and payment solution

The migrated accounts were from the recently acquired CIBC Merchant
Services business and will be supported at Global’s advanced operations
centers in Owings Mills, Maryland; Cleveland, Ohio; Don Mills, Ontario,
Canada; and St. Louis, Missouri.

“We are committed to delivering on our promise of providing Canadian
merchants with enhanced services and convenience,” said Global Payments’
President and CEO, Paul R. Garcia. “This migration marks the completion of a
critical step in our ongoing plans to maximize opportunities from our recent
Canadian expansion.”

“This was truly a team effort, with our Canadian and US offices working
closely together to ensure the migration was successful,” said Global
Payment’s Vice President for Canadian Operations and Technology, Bruce Nanton.
“Our Canadian merchants will now be offered expanded reporting capabilities
and detailed summary statements,” said Senior Vice President of Customer
Support, Vincent Perrelli. “Our main goal is to provide the finest service
and support for all our merchant customers,” Perrelli said.

Global Payments significantly broadened its presence in North America in
2001 with the acquisition of the merchant card services business of Canadian
Imperial Bank of Commerce and the merchant services business of National Bank
of Canada. Global also formed ten-year marketing alliances with the banks.
These transactions made Global Payments the largest publicly traded,
independent MasterCard and Visa acquirer in Canada and gave Global Payments
the capability to provide Canadian businesses one source for all of their
Visa, MasterCard, debit and other payment processing requirements.

Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction
processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs),
financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations
located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and
Europe. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions,
including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift
cards, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, check guarantee, check
verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.


Shell Canada Products announced the
launch of its new easyPAY payment technology at participating Shell retail
sites in Winnipeg.

Shell easyPAY uses a microchip embedded in a tag that fits on a key ring.
It communicates with a pump-mounted receiver to automatically bill fuel to the
customer’s chosen credit card and instantly record AIR MILES(R) reward miles.

With a free Shell easyPAY key tag, customers can drive to participating
Shell retail sites, present their key tag in front of the easyPAY symbol on a
pump and fill up without swiping a credit card. The easyPAY is fast, simple
and secure. EasyPAY transactions never transmit personal information.
Customers can identify participating sites by the easyPAY logo on Shell
station signs.

“Shell conducted extensive research that revealed speed and convenience
are becoming increasingly important for consumers purchasing gasoline,” says
Terry Blaney, Shell Vice President, Marketing. “We designed easyPAY to meet
the needs of consumers who want to have a simple, quick and efficient
experience when fuelling up,” he added.

Customers have three options when applying for their free easyPAY tag.
They can apply online at,
up an application form at
participating Shell retail sites in Winnipeg or by calling 1-877-EASYPAY.

easyPAY fact sheet follows.

Shell easyPAY Fact Sheet

– With a Shell easyPAY(TM) key tag, consumers can drive to participating
Shell stations, present their personally programmed key tag in front of
the easyPAY sign on a pump and fill up without swiping a credit card.
– Shell was the first gasoline retailer in Canada to introduce this
– Using a microchip embedded in a tag that fits on a key ring, easyPAY
communicates with a pump-mounted receiver to automatically charge fuel
to the consumer’s chosen credit card and instantly record AIR MILES(R)
reward miles.
– easyPAY completely eliminates the need for credit cards and AIR MILES
Collector Cards.
– Credit card number transmission cannot be intercepted when using
easyPAY. The Shell easyPAY systems operates on a dedicated, secure
radio frequency. All that is ever transmitted is the unique
identification number that associates the tag with the customer’s
account information. The number is connected to account information
only once the encrypted transaction reaches Shell’s secure computer
system. Personal information is never transmitted. Industry Canada
approves the easyPAY transmission system.
– easyPAY provides extra security as customers do not need to expose
wallets or purses during a fuelling transaction.
– Participating stations in Winnipeg, London, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal,
Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver offer easyPAY. A complete list of
participating stations will be provided upon request.

– Participating Winnipeg sites are:

– Portage Ave & Olive Street
– Corydon Avenue & Tuxedo Avenue
– Roblin Boulevard & Dale Boulevard
– St. Mary’s Road & St. Michael Road
– Lakewood Boulevard & Fermor Avenue
– Jefferson Avenue & Adsum Drive
– McPhillips Street & Leila Avenue
– Scurfield Boulevard & Kenaston Boulevard
– Pembina Highway & Dalhousie Drive

– Consumers can apply for their free easyPAY tag online at, in person at
participating Shell stations, or by
calling 1-877-EASYPAY.


Fincentric Corporation, a leading global
provider of wealth management and next generation banking software,
announced that the company’s board of directors has appointed Nick
Mancini, President and CEO of Assante Canada, to its board of directors.
Assante Corporation is a provider of integrated wealth and life
management services. As President and CEO, Mr. Mancini leads a network of
1,500 advisors and manages a staff of 550 employees who work in the areas of
sales and marketing, advisor recruitment, operations, information
technology, finance and human resources.

Prior to Assante, Mr. Mancini held senior executive positions in the
financial services and information management industries. He held the
position of Executive Vice President at Trimark where he was responsible for
sales, marketing and business development. Prior to that position he led the
retail group at Canada Trust as Executive Vice President, and before that
was President and CEO at Dun & Bradstreet’s information services’
international group responsible for Asia Pacific, Canada, Latin America as
well as two U.S. divisions. He also held a number of senior executive
positions at American Express including Senior Vice President and General
Manager of the financial services group.

Mr. Mancini is a board member of York University’s MBA program, and Rand
Technologies. He has also served on the board of American Express Bank, and
the advisory board of CIBC Card Services. As a graduate of York University
in Toronto, Mr. Mancini holds an honours B.A. in Economics and a Masters in
Monetary Economics. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Monetary Economics and

“Nick brings to our board high caliber management experience in financial
services, wealth management and IT,” said Mike Cardiff, Fincentric’s
President and CEO. “He will be a key asset as we plot our course towards
becoming the dominant player in wealth management technology.”
Regarding his appointment to the Fincentric board, Mr. Mancini said,
“Fincentric’s strategy and product offerings are extremely well positioned
for the evolving financial services market. The company’s mission is
centered on providing a whole new level of analytical support and value to
wealth management relationships by focusing on both service and
profitability enhancements.”

About Fincentric

Fincentric is the leading developer of wealth management software solutions
for the global banking industry. Fincentric’s i-Wealthview(tm) wealth
management software products include ‘next generation’ core banking,
Customer Value Management(tm), data aggregation, Internet & wireless
financial portals and full multi-channel support. Its revolutionary Customer
Value Management(tm) capabilities provide profitability and relationship
analysis that allow financial institutions to recognize the value of each
customer, and maximize their profitability. Fincentric products enable
financial institutions to quickly deploy solutions for their converging
financial service offerings, while also supporting capabilities for
increasing customer profitability, customer acquisition, and retention.
Fincentric has more than 300 customers worldwide, and has strategic
relationships with Microsoft, Compaq, and other international partners. For
more information, visit Fincentric’s home page at


Diebold, Incorporated named John M. Deignan, managing director of the
Diebold Company of Canada, Ltd. Based in Toronto, Deignan will be responsible
for all sales, service and support activity for the company’s operation. He
will report directly to David Bucci, senior vice president, Customer Solutions
Group of Diebold North America.

“John’s experience with diverse markets such as Australia and New Zealand
will be a valuable asset as we continue our growth in Canada,” Bucci said.
“His knowledge will help us move forward and enhance our strong global

Deignan joined Diebold in 1991 as an account manager in Chicago. Most
recently, he held the position of managing director of Diebold Australia and
New Zealand. Deignan received a bachelor’s degree in business economics from
Marquette University in Milwaukee and a master’s degree in international
business from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Deignan a native of Monroe,
Wis., will be relocating to Toronto shortly.

Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self-
service delivery systems and services. Diebold employs more than 12,000
associates with representation in more than 80 countries worldwide and
headquarters in North Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of
$1.7 billion in 2000 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange
under the symbol ‘DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at .


bizSmart’s business VISA card offers
entrepreneurs a low interest rate tied to CIBC prime with no annual fee.

Canadian small businesses can benefit from a rate as low as prime plus
1.5 per cent, according to Rob Paterson, president and CEO, bizSmart and
senior vice-president, CIBC small business banking.

“With CIBC’s prime rate at 3.75 per cent today, the interest rate for
bizSmart VISA cardholders is as low as 5.25 per cent,” says Paterson. “That
translates into huge savings for entrepreneurs who tend to use personal credit
cards for business expenses. They could shave off up to 12.75 per cent in
interest costs when they use our business VISA card compared to some personal
credit cards that carry rates of 18 per cent.”

The bizSmart Visa card offers one of the lowest costs of borrowing
available for small business and is specifically designed to meet the flexible
needs of small office/home office (SOHO) entrepreneurs. More than half of
bizSmart’s VISA customers benefit from rates of CIBC prime plus 2.5 per cent
to as low as prime plus 1.5 per cent. The credit card rate is determined by a
credit assessment of the applicant business and its owners.

SOHOs get the added advantage of being able to keep better records by
separating their business and personal affairs with the bizSmart business Visa
card. Credit can be approved within seconds of completing the application.

“We’ve created a total value package for SOHOs,” adds Paterson. “Every
entrepreneur who has our Visa card also benefits from preferred discounts and
offers from leading Canadian companies like STAPLES Business Depot, and gets
access to our Knowledge Centre with Canada’s largest online source of
entrepreneurial management information.”

The application process for the bizSmart VISA card is simple and quick
and can be done over the phone, via computer at, or at select
locations of STAPLES Business Depot in five provinces across Canada.


bizSmart, a unique offer of essential services designed to save Canadian
small business owners and entrepreneurs time and money, is provided by CIBC
along with STAPLES Business Depot and leading Canadian companies. bizSmart
services are accessible through the Internet at, by
telephone, at CIBC bank machines and at bizSmart Centres located in select
STAPLES Business Depot stores. bizSmart Financial Services are provided by
CIBC, one of North America’s leading financial institutions with more than
eight million personal banking and business customers.


LML Payment Systems Inc. is pleased to
announce its subsidiary LML Patent Corp. has received a Notice of Allowance
from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a new patent based upon
United States Patent Application Serial No. 09/851,609. The new patent
application contains seven new claims that address authorizing the debiting of
funds from bank accounts without the requirement of negotiating a paper
The corresponding patent should be issued within the next few months.

The new patent will result in an improvement to the Company’s existing
intellectual property estate which includes US patents 5,484,988, 6,164,528
6,283,366, all of which describe the electronification of paper checks,
sometimes referred to as check truncation, check conversion, electronic check
acceptance and electronic check presentment.

In April, 2001, US BankCorp Piper Jaffrey reported that electronic checking is
in their opinion, the fastest growing retail payment method addressing the
largest potential untapped electronic payment opportunity in the United
States. The Federal Reserve study on checks vs. ePayments conducted in 2001
estimated that almost 50 billion paper checks were presented at retail
establishments last year. Recently released statistics regarding electronic
check transactions processed through the Fed’s ACH network (POP transactions)
indicate over 15 million electronic check transactions occurred in the 3rd
quarter of 2001 bringing the total transaction volume between January and
September, 2001 to over 38 million.

“We are encouraged by these numbers. 50 billion paper transactions annually
represents a very large market, while we believe the 38 million electronic
check transactions are beginning to reflect merchant acceptance and adaptation
of Electronic Checking technology. Naturally, our aim is to convert as many
paper transactions to electronic transactions as possible and, clearly,
this is
the driving force behind our comprehensive investment in related intellectual
property,” explained LML President and CEO, Patrick H. Gaines. “A patent
is a
government grant to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention
as claimed in the patent for a fixed number of years. We are pleased with the
development of our intellectual property estate which will shortly include
patents describing electronic checking. In light of market developments and
dynamics, we are at this time exploring licensing and other business
relationship opportunities. The allowance of this fourth patent strengthens
our ability to enforce our intellectual property rights,” added Gaines.

The Corporation, through its subsidiary LML Payment Systems Corp., is a
financial payment processor providing check processing solutions including
Electronic Check Conversion (whereby paper checks are converted into
transactions), electronic check verification, electronic check re-presentment
(whereby returned paper checks are re-presented for payment electronically),
and primary and secondary check collection to supermarkets, grocery stores,
multilane retailers, convenience stores and other national, regional and local
retailers. We also specialize in providing selective routing, including
real-time monitoring of check, debit, credit and EBT transactions for
authorization and settlement through our flagship transaction processing
product REPS (Retail Electronic Payment System). The Corporation’s
intellectual property estate, owned by subsidiary LML Patent Corp, includes
U.S. Patent No. 6,283,366 regarding corporate checks and electronic fund
transfers (EFT), in addition to U.S. Patent No. 6,164,528 regarding Internet
checking transactions, and U.S. Patent No. 5,484,988 which describes a
“Checkwriting Point of Sale System” which, through a database and
system, provides and administers various electronic payment services for
customers and businesses.


Tourism Vancouver and Visa Canada
announced a three-year marketing partnership to promote both domestic
and international travel to the city. Currently more than 8.4 million domestic
and international tourists spend approximately $3.5 billion visiting Vancouver
every year.

In British Columbia, 2.8 million Visa cardholders spend approximately
$2.3 billion on the travel and entertainment industry each year, representing
approximately 16 percent of Visa travel and entertainment business in Canada
overall. This new partnership is designed to increase tourism spending while
providing a number of benefits to tourists, Visa cardholders and to Tourism
Vancouver and its members.

For Visa, the partnership further demonstrates its commitment to the
travel and entertainment sector by adding a key market into its mix of
destination marketing alliances. Through its Destination Marketing Program,
Visa holds successful alliances with other key travel destinations including
Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Whistler and the Canadian Intrawest
Resorts. The new partnership also provides Visa with the opportunity to
increase prominence in the important Vancouver market.

“We see tremendous opportunity in the Vancouver market where the number
of visitors has grown consistently for many years,” said Rick Pyves, Senior
Vice President, Visa Canada. “This partnership allows us to provide valuable
offers to domestic and international Visa cardholders traveling to Vancouver
and gives us the opportunity to support and build relations with key travel
and entertainment sectors.”

Tourism Vancouver Executive Vice President, Paul Vallee says the Visa
partnership will help the recovery of the Vancouver tourism industry.

“Tourism Vancouver has long recognized the power of partnership through
initiatives such as our Tourism Vancouver Signature Partners program. Forming
strategic alliances provides us with competitive advantage in this dynamic
industry allowing us to reach new customer targets and leverage our marketing
resources. We’re extremely excited about our partnership with Visa who are not
only leaders in their business but a key part of the tourism industry
internationally,” said Vallee.

The first key initiative within the partnership is The VISA Vancouver
Rewards program, a program allowing domestic and international Visa
cardholders to benefit from great savings and rewards. As part of the
agreement, Tourism Vancouver will promote Visa as the Official Vancouver
Destination Payment Card. Tourism Vancouver’s member businesses will sport
point-of-sale decals bearing the tagline and official partnership logo
“Vancouver’s Best Way to Pay.” Other activities include jointly branded
advertising and online savings programs.

The travel and entertainment sector also represents an important market
for Visa. “In Canada, travel and entertainment represents approximately 17
percent of Visa’s overall sales,” said Pyves. “While the industry has faced
some challenges over the last few months, we believe that partnerships and
alliances like this one will help get the industry back on track.”

As the “World’s Best Way to Pay”, Visa is the leading credit card payment
brand in Canada and around the world. There are more than 23.6 million VISA
cards in Canada accepted at more than 604,000 merchant locations across the
country. In British Columbia more than 119,000 merchants accept Visa, almost
double the amount of merchants accepting Visa in 1993. VISA is accepted at
over 23 million locations around the world including over 700,000 ATMs. The
Internet address for Visa is

Tourism Vancouver’s focus is on building exceptional customer
relationships with meeting planners, travel influencers, travel media and
independent tourists. Our efforts generate demand for the destination, thereby
creating value for members and stakeholders. Innovation, partnership, research
and accountability guide our approach. We utilize person-to-person and
technology-based sales, marketing and visitor servicing activities to achieve
results. Through positive positioning of both the organization and the
destination, our leadership benefits the society, culture, environment and
economy of Greater Vancouver.


Zebra Technologies Corporation, the worldwide leader in bar code labeling
solutions and plastic card printers, announced that it entered into a
distribution agreement with EMJ Data Systems, Ltd., a leading
Canadian distributor of computer, networking and wireless solutions. EMJ will
support Canadian resellers marketing Zebra Technologies’ Eltron card printer
products used in applications such as high-security access control, personal
identification, photo ID cards, employee badges, library cards and other
applications where longer life plastic cards are a better solution. In 2001,
EMJ acquired former Eltron distributor, SDMS.

“We are very excited to be carrying Eltron card printers for resellers
throughout Canada,” stated Jim Estill, president and CEO of EMJ. “Since our
specialty is in creating vertical niches that will help our resellers grow,
Zebra’s Eltron card printer products help us broaden our solutions for
security, auto ID and point-of-sale. End users are continually implementing
new applications for plastic cards. The Eltron brand of card printers is the
industry’s most respected.”

“We’re very proud to have EMJ represent us in the Canadian market,”
emphasized Zebra Technologies Eltron Card Printer Products North American
Sales Manager David Murphy (Edina, Minn.). “We look forward to EMJ supporting
the Canadian channel for our Eltron card printer products in the same way
Canadian resellers have relied on them for assistance with our Zebra bar code

About EMJ Data Systems, Ltd.

EMJ Data Systems, Ltd., headquartered in Guelph, Ontario, is a Canadian,
publicly-owned distributor of computer products and peripherals. EMJ
specializes in niche-market products for Apple, Digital Video,
Internetworking, Point-of-Sale, RAID, Unix and Wireless applications. EMJ
Data Systems, Ltd. has branch offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa,
Markham, Montreal and Halifax, as well as one office in the United States.
EMJ is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) under the symbol EMJ.
Interested parties can reach EMJ via

About Zebra Technologies Corporation

Zebra Technologies Corporation (Vernon Hills, Ill.) manufactures and
distributes Zebra brand on-demand bar code label printers and Eltron brand
secure ID printing systems and plastic card printers used in automatic
identification and plastic card personalization applications worldwide. The
company, with an installed base of more than 2 million printers, also offers
software and related supplies, including more than 300 label and ribbon
combinations. Zebra’s customers include more than 70 percent of the FORTUNE
500. The company’s stock is traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the
symbol ZBRA. Information about Eltron brand card printer products can be
found at

724 4Q/01

724 Solutions, a leading provider of secure mobile transaction infrastructure, reported preliminary results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2001 (all figures in U.S. dollars).

The company anticipates revenues for the fourth fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2001 to be approximately $5.6-$6.0 million, which is below its previously stated expectations of $7.0-$8.0 million. Revenues for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2001 are expected to be $43.6-$44.0 million, compared to $21.2 million for the prior year.

Based upon these preliminary revenue results, the company currently estimates that pro forma loss per share for the fourth fiscal quarter will be $0.23-$0.25. Pro forma loss for the fiscal year is expected to be $1.06-$1.08 compared to $1.05 in the previous year. Pro forma loss is net loss for the period, adjusted for amortization of intangibles, equity in income (loss) of affiliate, stock-based compensation, write-down of intangibles, long-term investments and other assets, restructuring costs and certain non-recurring expenses. As of December 31, 2001, the company had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $89.1 million.

The company also continued the restructuring activities which it began in the spring of 2001, resulting in an additional 20 percent reduction in annualized operating expense from previously announced levels. These additional restructuring activities, which will include reductions in employees, facilities and other operating expenses, will be implemented in Q1 2002.

About 724 Solutions Inc.

724 Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq:SVNX) (TSE:SVN) is a leading provider of mobile Internet infrastructure software and applications. It makes m-business happen globally by powering the delivery of secure mobile transactions for financial institutions and mobile operators. With dual headquarters in Toronto, Canada, and Austin, Texas, the company has development and sales offices around the world. For more information, visit


SureFire Commerce Inc., a provider of robust transaction processing and payment solutions, announced a partnership agreement with Smart Online, Inc. a leading online provider of small business productivity applications. Under the terms of this agreement, SureFire Commerce’s Total TransActions solution will be fully integrated into Smart Online’s Web-based productivity applications for small businesses and
made available to Smart Online and the small business syndicated platforms of
its Fortune 1000 partners, such as Compaq, Bank One, The Company Corporation,
Cable & Wireless, and the Banknorth Group.

The SureFire Total TransActions solution allows small businesses and
SOHOs (Small Office/Home Office) to accept VISA, MasterCard, and FirePay(R)
Personal Account brands via a virtual point-of-sale machine. This means that
any part-time or full-time business with access to a Web browser can start
accepting payments in just days without having to build a Web site with e-
commerce functionality. Users of the SureFire Total TransActions solution can
accept over-the-counter credit card payments simply by entering a customer’s
credit card information into the SureFire Total TransActions interface on the

The SureFire Total TransActions solution will be integrated into Smart
Online’s Web-based applications, allowing small businesses to accept credit
card payments, present bills electronically, and even schedule recurring
billing. This cutting-edge functionality will also be integrated into dozens
of small business resource centres, including Smart Online and its syndicated
platform that includes the small business centres of major Fortune 1000
companies, reaching literally millions of small businesses.

Over the coming months, SureFire Commerce intends to add new
functionality to the SureFire Total TransActions solution, which will give
small businesses even greater flexibility in collecting payments. The goal is
to make the SureFire Total TransActions solution THE way for small businesses
to get paid, whether a company does business online or offline, or both.

“Our syndicated partners and small business customers have been asking
for a widely available and affordable payment solution that will help them
grow their businesses,” said Michael Nouri, CEO and Chairman of Smart Online.
“To meet those requests, we’ve selected SureFire Commerce’s Total TransActions
solution because it goes well beyond value, offering a full range of
transaction processing capabilities and management tools that empower high-
risk small businesses to accept credit card payments in a simple, rapid, and
cost-effective way. SureFire Commerce has developed unique and robust payment
technologies that many companies trust and we are proud to offer this value to
the constituencies of the syndicated partners of Smart Online.”

“At SureFire, we aim to make the SureFire Total TransActions solution,
which enables anyone with a standard Web browser to accept credit card
payments, THE money centre for small business,” said Rory Olson, President and
CEO of SureFire Commerce. “SmartOnline, with its industry-leading Fortune 1000
partners, is an excellent example of how we will proliferate this
groundbreaking product to companies that reach millions of small businesses in
their respective fields. We are offering the solution to selected leaders in a
wide variety of commerce categories as a private-labeled solution and plan to
leverage these strong partnerships to offer some of our other products, such
as FirePay, for consumers looking for P2P functionality. As with other recent
partnerships such as Intuit (QuickBooks) and (American Airlines,
America West), we expect this partnership to yield a significant number of
online transactions through prestigious business portals,” concluded Olson.

About Smart Online

Smart Online, Inc. offers the industry’s broadest array of Web-delivered
business productivity applications that power the start-up, growth, and
management of small- and medium-size enterprises across the U.S. and Europe.
Smart Online’s Web-native business productivity applications are integrated
into companies such as Bank One, The Banknorth Group, the Company Corporation,
Cable & Wireless, AIG, etc. These applications can be rapidly and seamlessly
integrated into partners’ Web sites, greatly enhancing the value of partners’
e-relationships with their end-users. Smart Online is a privately held company
with headquarters in Durham, N.C., and offices in Charlotte, N.C., the United
Kingdom, and France. For more information about Smart Online, Inc. please
visit the company’s Web site at

About SureFire Commerce

SureFire Commerce Inc. is a global provider of secure online payment
solutions and e-commerce support, processing over $1.2 billion of online
transactions annually. The Company specializes in payment solutions in three
core areas: Internet payment processing for online merchants, bill presentment
and payment processing for physical businesses, and corporate billing
solutions. SureFire Commerce’s online payment solutions are marketed to
consumers and merchants through strategic partnership agreements with
companies that have significant brand recognition and distribution channels.
SureFire Commerce is headquartered in Montreal (Quebec) with offices in Hull
(Quebec) and London (England).


Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited announced that holiday sales exceeded expectations during the key
December selling season, including double-digit sales growth in several core
retail categories.

Commenting on the holiday period, Wayne Sales, president and CEO, noted:
“We enjoyed strong growth across all of our key holiday and basic goods
categories, led by double-digit growth in hardware and home improvement,
automotive tires and accessories, Christmas décor and lighting. We achieved
this sales growth without extensive discounting activity, enabling us to
maintain the strength of our margins.” Sales added: “We finished with total
sales growth of five per cent in the month of December, in spite of softer
sales in winter seasonal goods in Ontario and other pockets of the country due
to a lack of snow and cold weather. By comparison, winter seasonal goods
contributed almost all of the sales growth in the previous December and we
would expect to pick up some of that growth in winter seasonal goods early in
the first quarter of 2002.”

Canadian Tire Retail surpassed the $5 billion in retail sales mark for
the first time in its history in 2001.

Canadian Tire’s online channel,, showed strong
growth, with traffic up 70 per cent, sales up 252 per cent and average basket
purchases up 11 per cent in December compared to the same month last year. In
October, became the most visited, Canadian-operated retail
eCommerce site according to industry data, with more than 2 million visits.
Traffic and sales increased in November and December consecutively,
reinforcing the webstore’s key role as a vehicle for customers to access
Canadian Tire both for product research and to buy products directly.

All of Canadian Tire’s businesses performed strongly during 2001 and into
the holiday period:

– Canadian Tire Financial Services experienced double-digit growth in
credit card sales and receivables during December, as a result of the
expansion in the number of Options MasterCard accounts and strong
retail sales.

– PartSource, the specialty automotive chain focused on heavy do-it-
yourself customers and the wholesale segment, has now opened a total
of 30 retail stores and experienced double-digit growth on a
comparable store basis in 2001 with sales in December surpassing that

– Canadian Tire Petroleum, despite significant industry declines in
retail gasoline prices, continued its strong performance, complemented
by very healthy results in its propane, convenience, car wash and pit
stop businesses.

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSE: CTR.a, CTR) operates a strategic
portfolio of integrated businesses engaged in retail, financial services and
petroleum. Canadian Tire Retail is the country’s most-shopped retailer,
offering 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. offers Canadians the
opportunity to shop online. With 450 Canadian Tire Associate Stores serving
communities nationwide, Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited and the Associate
Dealers together employ more than 38,000 Canadians. PartSource is an
automotive parts specialty chain with 30 stores designed to meet the needs of
major purchasers of automotive parts – professional automotive installers and
serious do-it-yourselfers. Canadian Tire Financial Services manages related
financial products and services for retail and petroleum customers, and also
markets other value-added products to our customers. Canadian Tire Petroleum
is one of the country’s largest and most productive independent retailers of
gasoline, with 203 outlets.