payment processor First Data is to exit its cheque and money order
operation after the completion of a strategic review, in which it
concluded that the business was in a declining market. First Data
is expecting to free up between $250 million and $300 million in
cash which it will use for acquisitions, share repurchases and
other uses during 2007.

Most of the cheque and money order business will be terminated over
a period of two to three years. The business processes official
cheques and money orders and the revenue is driven primarily by
investments in long-term securities. Over the next four to six
months, First Data said, it will convert most long-term instruments
into more liquid instruments of shorter duration.

Focus on core businesses

First Data said that while it intends to serve
existing business clients through the end of their respective
contract terms, expiring contracts will not be renewed on a
long-term basis. Client contracts representing approximately 60
percent of portfolio balances will expire in the next two years.
During the wind-down period, First Data said, it would maintain
sufficient assets to honour all contract requirements and
outstanding payment instruments.

First Data said it remains focused on its key strategies of driving
growth in its core businesses, expanding product offerings,
improving its overall cost structure and expanding globally. The
wind-down of the cheque and money order business would
substantially further the company’s ability to focus on these key
strategies, First Data said.

First Data serves 4.9 million merchant locations and 1,900 card
issuers. Its portfolio of services and solutions includes merchant
transaction processing services; credit, debit, private-label,
gift, payroll and other prepaid card offerings; fraud protection
and authentication solutions; electronic cheque acceptance
services; and internet commerce and mobile payment solutions. Its
Star Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at 2 million ATM
and retail locations.