Discover Signs Deal to Expand Global Acceptance

August 1, 2015
Discover Global Acceptance

If Visa is everywhere you want to be and MasterCard offers priceless experiences around the globe, what does Discover, the third largest credit card network in the world offer? Now with a new deal, it will offer more acceptance worldwide for its Diners Club and Discover brand credit cards.

Discover's Diners Club International unit has signed an agreement with Creditcall, a card acceptance and EMV provider, in order to help the cards with their expansion effort. Creditcall will help get more merchant acceptance for Diners Club and Discover.

“Working with Creditcall is an important step in securing card acceptance at merchants around the globe,” said Gerry Wagner, vice president, Discover Global Network, in a statement. “This agreement will increase the number of merchants that card members have access to in over 30 countries.”

The Discover Global Network is the third largest payment network in the world and thanks to partnerships with China UnionPay and Japan Central Bank (JCB) it's the largest merchant-acceptance network in Asia-Pacific. That means whenever you travel in that part of the world and see that a store accepts China UnionPay or JCB networks--much like how they display if they accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express--you can use your Discover or Diners Club card.

Diners Club is already accepted in over 185 countries and territories around the world, but Discover is only accepted in 30 different countries. Although Discover already has wide acceptance in Asia, its acceptance rate in Europe and Canada is not as prevalent.

However, this deal with Creditcall should open up the number of countries where the cards are accepted. The payments service company has offices in North America and Europe and will be helping efforts to get more merchant acceptance in Europe.

"They've been working on expanding their international footprint. They want to get into new markets," said Ben Jackson, industry analyst with Mercator Advisory Group.

Jackson explained this deal could help Discover, particularly with the European market. Discover is still working on EMV capabilities and that technology is prominent in Europe. Part of the agreement stipulates that Creditcall will be helping Discover to certify new solutions across future card processor certifications.

"It's hard to get any new thing accepted, but with payments the struggle is a chicken and egg thing," said Jackson. "Merchants don't want it unless the customers ask for it, and customers won't ask for it unless the merchants offer it."

For those who already prefer using their Discover cards but have to choose a different card when they travel to countries where Discover isn't currently accepted, this agreement also bodes well for them. "From the cardholder perspective, this is good because it means that people who are Discover loyalists will have more options to use this card abroad, particularly in Europe," said Jackson.

“Creditcall is pleased to be strengthening its relationship with Discover through this joint initiative which benefits Creditcall’s past, present and future customers, giving them a wider, enhanced offering,” said Sian Bosley, commercial director of Creditcall, in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with Discover to help expand their card acceptance across Europe. This is a great example of a leading card scheme recognizing that Creditcall is a global leader in the payments industry and can contribute to their success.”

Creditcall also helps with the transition from magnetic stripe to EMV chip and PIN cards. Although that technology is the standard in other parts of the world, it is slowly making its way to the United States. This fall will see the start of deadlines shifting liability of fraudulent transactions from the payment network to the merchant or card issuer if they do not have the new technology capabilities. Discover says on its website that it's sending new cards to its cardholders throughout this year, but cardholders may send in a request for the replacement card.

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