Civic Strategies and GE Money Trust Company launch City of Vaughan MuniCard(TM) MasterCard(R) with rewards that can help pay municipal property taxes



    Municipal credit card program puts cash into cardholder's account with
    the city

    VAUGHAN, ON, Sept. 17 /CNW/ - Mayor Linda D. Jackson and Members of
Council today introduced the City of Vaughan MuniCard MasterCard issued by GE
Money Trust Company, a financially regulated financial institution and member
of the GE Money-Canada family. The innovative card heralds a new era in
consumer loyalty credit card programs, where residential property owners can
translate their existing spending into savings on their municipal property tax
bill.
    "Our Council and community have spearheaded this program with Civic
Strategies because we think it is a terrific concept," said Mayor Jackson.
"Our municipality is saying use your City of Vaughan MuniCard MasterCard and
earn rewards to pay towards your property tax at the same time. I can't
imagine a municipality that wouldn't want to participate in a reward program
like this."
    The City of Vaughan MuniCard MasterCard is available to all residential
property owners of the City of Vaughan. The MuniCard program designed by Civic
Strategies is distinctive for many reasons:

    
    -  Rewards earned on purchases anywhere in the world MasterCard cards are
       accepted are translated into cash and deposited once a year into the
       cardholder's residential property tax account.
    -  The card carries no annual fee.
    -  Cardholders earn rewards of up to one percent of their purchases all
       year around.
    -  Reward points never go unused because they are deposited in the
       property owner's municipal tax account.
    -  Civic Strategies' MuniCard Program includes a merchant discount
       program.
    -  Residents benefit from point-of-sale discounts offered by local
       merchants enrolled in the MuniCard Program.
    -  Local business benefits by attracting customers through the point-of-
       sale discounts and marketing support from Civic Strategies.
    -  The City of Vaughan benefits from increased business activity in the
       community.
    

    "This is a win-win situation," said Giorgio Gianniotti, founder,
president and CEO of Civic Strategies Inc. "Cardholders are able to reduce
payments on their residential property tax bill by collecting rewards from all
spending that goes on their Vaughan MuniCard MasterCard. They save even more
money by shopping at participating Vaughan businesses. And, on top of that,
the program does not cost the city one cent!
    "This City of Vaughan MuniCard MasterCard is a ground-breaking reward
program which can be adopted by any and all municipalities." Gianniotti added.
    Gianniotti, the creator of the MuniCard program, won the backing of
Vaughan Council to find a finance company to issue the card. GE Money, the
consumer lending unit of the General Electric Company (NYSE:   GE) and
MasterCard Canada are the first in Canada to market with this co-brand
municipal credit card.
    "GE Money is pleased to be part of this unique partnership," said Valerie
Gregory, vice-president and general manager, cards, at GE Money. "The City of
Vaughan MuniCard MasterCard, which will be offered by GE Money Trust Company,
a federally regulated financial institution and part of the GE Money-Canada
family, produces a tangible benefit both to the citizens of the City of
Vaughan and the local business community."
    Toronto based Civic Strategies will provide everything from a controlled
audit system between the city and GE Money, to complete customer and marketing
support. For more information and to apply for the card please visit
www.municard.ca.

    About Civic Strategies
    ----------------------
    Toronto-based Civic Strategies Inc. (CSI) is the first Canadian company
to introduce municipalities to a co-branded credit card program that transfers
cash rewards to residential property tax accounts.
    The MuniCard is part of a unique program created in 2002 by Giorgio
Gianniotti, President of CSI. Civic Strategies Inc. (CSI), incorporated in
May 11, 2000, is a privately held company. For more information on CSI, please
visit www.civicstrategies.ca.

    About GE Money Trust Company and GE Money
    -----------------------------------------
    With more than $190 billion in assets, GE Money, a unit of General
Electric Company, is a leading provider of credit services to consumers,
retailers and auto dealers in 55 countries around the world. GE Money - Canada
provides private label credit card and MasterCard card programs to consumers
and lending options for retailers in key industries across the country. GE
Money also is a provider of alternative residential mortgages. More
information can be found at www.gemoney.ca.
    GE is Imagination at Work -- a diversified technology, media and
financial services company focused on solving some of the world's toughest
problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power
generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging,
business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE
serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000
people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at
www.ge.com.
    In Canada, GE has more than 10,000 employees, 19 major manufacturing
plants and more than 150 sales and service locations across the country.

    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(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R), MasterCard serves consumers
and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more
information, go to www.mastercard.com.





For further information:

For further information: on Civic Strategies, please contact: Susan
Reisler, Media Profile, (416) 504-8464, susan@mediaprofile.com

Organization Profile

CIVIC STRATEGIES INC.

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890