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January 15 2008

Vancity introduces special Visa gift card in time for Chinese New Year celebrations

Foo card. Vancouver, January 15, 2008 — Vancity has launched the Foo Card, its newest prepaid Visa* gift card. The first of its kind in Canada, the card’s bright red design and gold good luck "Foo" character bring a modern twist to the tradition of the lucky red money envelope.

More convenient and safer to carry than cash, the Foo Card comes packaged in its own red envelope and can be loaded with any dollar amount between $25 and $500 and used wherever Visa cards are accepted electronically.

"At Vancity, we have always fully embraced the diversity of our members and employees," says Rolf Baumbusch, vice president, Vancity Visa. "This new Visa Foo Gift Card is another great example of how Vancity supports and celebrates that diversity. With this card, we honour the vibrant Chinese culture that thrives within our local communities."

Festivities for the Year of the Rat, the first in the Chinese lunar cycle, kick off on February 7 with activities throughout the city including the popular annual Chinatown parade, storytelling, crafts and the much-anticipated exchange of red envelopes, which symbolize luck and wealth. Red envelopes containing cash are used by the Chinese community as a gift to commemorate special occasions like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and especially Chinese New Year.

Crisp new paper money can be difficult for gift givers to get from their banks in the quantities they need at this time of year. The new red envelope Visa gift cards are more convenient and practical for gift giving than cash. They are available at all Vancity branches for a nominal service fee, including the branch located at 188 Pender Street in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown.

"These new red envelope Visa Foo Gift Cards are an innovative and versatile way of giving gifts this Chinese New Year and throughout the year," says Grace Wong, senior branch manager of the Vancity Chinatown Community Branch. "Our new cards are an elegant and modern version of the traditional red envelopes that are such an important part of our culture. We expect they will be very popular this Chinese New Year," says Wong.

In 2005, Vancity was the first financial institution in Canada to launch prepaid Visa gift cards. The mytreat Visa continues to be a flexible option for individual and corporate gift giving.

Foo card. Foo card.

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Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $12.3 billion in assets, more than 387,000 members, and 58 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improving the quality of life in the communities where we live and work. For further information, visit

*Visa Int./Vancity, Licensed User.