The Official Merchant Services Blog shines its spotlight today on Discover –– notably Discover Financial’s strong fourth quarter earnings predictions that are making news.
On December 13, Business Week reported that a strong holiday shopping season would spark a boost in Discover Financial’s fourth quarter earnings. As the article portended: “The Riverwoods, Ill.-based credit card company is expected to benefit from a strong start to the holiday season for its quarter, which ended Nov. 30. Strong Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales should help boost the number of transactions it processed and the amount spent on cards. In its fiscal third quarter, Discover reported 10 percent growth in revenue from transaction processing, along with higher spending on gas as prices rose.”
These predictions played out, as the Washington Post reported that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales helped lift Discover fourth quarter profits by 46 percent. The Washington Post also reported that sales volume on Discover cards rose 8 percent to $25.03 billion in the quarter and the total number of transactions Discover’s networks processed rose 5 percent.
Why the Boost in Discover Use?
Discover told the Washington Post that it thinks one reason for the fourth quarter boost is that consumers are using Discover cards as their primary card this holiday shopping season: “Discover executives said during a conference call to discuss the results that the increased use shows that its customers are reaching for their cards more often compared with other cards they carry — Discover is becoming their “primary card.” The trend is partially because more merchants accept Discover now, and also because consumers are seeking benefits like Discover’s cash-back rewards when they make purchases.”
Add Discover on Discover
We covered this in a previous blog, but with this good news coming in from Discover it seems like a good time to make a final push for the Add Discover on Discover program that Host Merchant Services is offering until December 31, 2011. Host Merchant Services is able to offer this exclusive deal to its merchants with the new Add Discover on Discover plan. With such a brisk holiday shopping season in full swing, adding this program can help keep a merchant’s traffic and sales rising in the final weeks of December –– and then help the merchant obtain big savings for the next 12 months.
This offer from Discover, through payment network provider Host Merchant Services is a bold move for the credit card company, and can help become part of that trend where Discover cards become the primary use card for consumers. The program essentially gives qualifying merchants a year of being able to process Discover payments at no cost. Add Discover on Discover gives the merchants no fees when their customers swipe a Discover card. Free payment processing for an entire year is a serious incentive for merchants to consider. One that might prompt last minute change or switches to their merchant account even in the midst of the holiday shopping season.
How To Get Hooked Up
To qualify for the Add Discover on Discover program from payment network provider Host Merchant Services, you must have not processed any Discover cards in the past six months. Discover card processing goes beyond just Discover itself and also includes Diners Club International, BCcard, China Union Pay, JCB and DinaCard. Here are the steps you need to take to get the program started:
- Enroll in the program by December 31, 2011.
- Confirm your enrollment with a required test transaction.
- Update signage at your place of business (or on your website if you are an e-commerce only merchant).
- Inform your employees and actively promote Discover to your customers to start reaping the savings.
Once verified you will receive written notice from Discover. Within 10 business days of your acceptance you’ll receive a welcome letter with free Discover signage and tips for increasing your sales with Discover. This exclusive offer only lasts until December 31, 2011. If you are interested in finding out more about it, please Contact Host Merchant Services.
You can also read more about the offer by downloading one of the two PDFs Host Merchant Services provides on its resource page: