Banc One Corp.'s First USA unit will start marketing credit cards in Canada within 60 days, the company announced Tuesday.
The Canadian unit will operate under the name Bank One International and will employ 600 people within five years. Plans call for an operations center in Ottawa, Ontario, and a business development office in Toronto.
Several large U.S. credit card companies have recently begun issuing cards in Canada, where the market is seen as less saturated. Banc One's Canadian venture will be its first credit card foray in a foreign market.
"We think Canada is a dynamic marketplace in many ways similar to the United States," said Patrick M. Blewett, president of Bank One International. "We can export to Canada the same techniques we use in the United States."
First USA's heavy use of cobranding and affinity marketing has helped it become the third-largest card issuer in the United States, with $41.6 billion in receivables.