Having led the credit card industry down a path of extraordinary profitability, John Tolleson and First USA Inc. are changing the game plan. Dallas-based First USA, one of the handful of highly specialized "monoline" companies that reshaped the bank card business this decade, is diversifying.

The No. 4 U.S. card issuer, with more than $18 billion of outstandings, is also the third-largest processor of card transactions for retailers. It raised $141 million last March in the partial spinoff of its merchant processing subsidiary, First USA Paymentech.

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