ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Metris Cos. has signed a deal to offer Western Union-branded MasterCards to customers of the Western Union Financial Services Inc. subsidiary of First Data Corp.

Under the five-year agreement, Metris and Western Union will promote and distribute the cards to 20 million people beginning in the second quarter. Applications will be available at participating Western Union agent sites and on the company's Web site.

Mike Yerington, president of Western Union North America, said the deal "furthers our strategy of providing multiple financial services through a variety of channels, including brick-and-mortar agent locations, kiosks, the Internet, and ATMs."

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