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Accept Discover Card

Have you considered what it would be like to accept Discover cards for ecommerce payments on your website? This article offers information on Discover Card history, advantages of accepting Discover Card, and how to do start accepting Discover Card.


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About Discover Card

Discover Card, introduced by Sears Roebuck in 1985, was the last of the big 4 credit cards to surface, following American Express, Visa, and MasterCard into existence. However, it a J.D. Powers and Associates survey in 2007, Discover ranked second of the big four, behind American Express, in customer satisfaction. Its second place ranking continued in 2008, with an even higher rating.

Discover Card's initial offering was noteworthy because it offered higher credit limits, did not charge an annual fee, pioneered cashback bonuses, and is payable at local Sears stores, where it is credited immediately. Discover Card's ties to Sears became less close in the late 80's, and when Sears sold its Financial Network in 1993, Discover became part of Dean Witter. It went along for the ride when Dean Witter and Morgan Stanley merged in 1997. In 2007, it became an independent company.

Unlike Visa and MasterCard, all Discover Cards were originally issued not through a variety of financial institutions, but through Discover Bank. This changed in 2005, when Discover added GE Consumer Finance and HSBC. Also, unlike the other cards, all of which have developed an international presence, Discover has focused its business in the Americas, with more than 4 million merchant locations in the US, Mexico, Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Advantages of Accepting Discover Card

It's been true that Visa and MasterCard have been the credit cards most accepted by merchants. But Discover is growing, claiming in early 2009 to be accepted at 6,000 more locations each day. It also claims 50 million cardholders and serves over 4,400 institutions in addition to 260,000 POS terminals and ATMS with its PULSE ATM network. In 2006, the combination of PULSE ATM transactions and Discover Card transactions topped 3 billion.

Steps to Accept Discover Card

Depending on the size of business and the scope of your credit card transactions, you may wish to consider different approaches to accepting Discover cards. On the one hand, consider setup up your own merchant account with an acquirer, which is either a merchant bank or financial institution. You can contact either the one you currently use for other credit cards, the bank your business uses for deposits, or make a choice from Discover Card Network's list at http://www.discovernetwork.com/getstarted/merchant/startaccepting.html

Note that the merchant account arrangement is between you and the acquirer, not directly between you and Discover Card. Alternatively, it is possible to affiliate with a pre-established merchant account, for example, the one offered by PayPal.

If, for example, as a small business owner, you do not wish to set up a merchant account, it is possible to sign up with PayPal to accept Discover, as well as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Bank card and PayPal payments through your online site. This can be done through two different service choices: the Website Payments Standard offering or the Website Payments Pro option. A Recommendation Wizard leads you through questions that help assess your situation and recommend which of the two options is best for you, by considering the pay options you want, your sales volume, whether you already have credit card processing in real time available on your site, or an already established internet merchant account.

Those factors will help determine which choice is best for you, but you will also want to consider that the standard service, while briefly transferring your customers to the PayPal site (and then back to you) in order to complete their transaction, has no monthly service fee. The Pro choice, while allowing for direct processing of credit transactions on your site, has a monthly fee of $30. Both services charge a percentage transaction fee added to a small flat fee per transaction.

Sources

PayPal - paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=xpt/Marketing/general/PaymentSolutions-outside

Discover - discovernetwork.com/getstarted/merchant/merchant

Related Article: Accept American Express >>

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