Discover Financial Services Announces International Alliance with Nigeria’s Interswitch Limited

Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:05am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

http://pdf.reuters.com/htmlnews/8knews.asp?i=43059c3bf0e37541&u=urn:newsml:reuters.com:20130312:nBw125401a

Agreement will boost transaction volume on the Discover, Diners Club
International and PULSE networks and acceptance of Verve Cards across the
Discover global network 
RIVERWOODS, Ill. & LAGOS, Nigeria--(Business Wire)--
Discover Financial Services (DFS) and Interswitch Limited, the largest
integrated payment processing service provider in Nigeria and promoter of the
leading card network, Verve, today announced a strategic alliance that will
allow acceptance of Discover and Diners Club International (DCI) cards at
Interswitch-enabled ATM and point-of-sale (POS) terminals for purchases in
Nigeria. It will also allow Verve cardholders to have access to Discover, Diners
Club International and PULSE networks for international purchases and cash
access outside of Nigeria. 

The long-term agreement, which will be implemented in phases, will focus first
on enabling about 20 million Verve cards on the PULSE global ATM network,
followed by acceptance opportunities for Discover and Diners Club cards in
Nigeria, and then the acceptance of Verve cards across the Discover global
network. The Discover global network, which includes Diners Club, PULSE and
other partner networks, provides acceptance in more than 185 countries and
territories. 

Discover and Interswitch also will collaborate on the integration of Discover
DPAS EMV solutions and fraud monitoring solutions to ensure safe transactions
across both networks. The companies also plan to look at future opportunities
for emerging payment products in Nigeria and in other Interswitch markets. 

"This alliance is significant to Discover`s strategy of creating an alternative
global payments network that gives both financial institutions and consumers
more choice," said Diane Offereins, EVP and President of Discover Payment
Services. "By partnering with regional payments networks such as Interswitch,
Discover is able to leverage its unique set of assets to grow volume, while
providing our partners with the global reach and localized preferences and needs
they require." 

Discover has established network to network alliances across the globe,
including in China, Japan, Korea, Serbia and India. These alliances provide
valuable access to Discover's global acceptance footprint and deliver value and
volume to merchants and partners. 

"This alliance is another step in the right direction for Verve. We continue to
look for new opportunities to expand our payments network, and our partnership
with Discover is an example of that," said Charles Ifedi, CEO of Verve. "The new
agreement with Discover Financial Services provides our issuing members with new
options for ATM and POS access around the globe while also giving Verve
cardholders what they deserve, more convenience at home and abroad." 

"This partnership is a major milestone in our 10-year history. We will also
leverage Discover`s suite of solutions to deliver innovative card and electronic
payment initiatives across various sectors in the market," said Mitchell Elegbe,
Group MD/CEO, Interswitch. "One of the objectives of the Central Bank of
Nigeria's Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS 2020) is to advance the efficiency
of the country's e-payment systems by reducing the reliance on cash and
promoting interoperability among financial institutions. The agreement between
Discover and Interswitch will contribute positively towards this vision." 

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services
company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since
its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in
the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash
rewards pioneer, and offers home loans, private student loans, personal loans,
online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts
through its direct banking business. Its payment businesses consist of Discover
Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the
nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global
payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For
more information, visit www.discoverfinancial.com. 

About Interswitch Limited

Interswitch Limited is an integrated payment processing network which provides
technology integration, advisory services and transaction processing and payment
infrastructure to government, banks and corporate organizations. Interswitch is
the promoter of the Verve payment brand and provides online, real-time
transaction switching that enable businesses and individuals have access to
their funds across the 21 banks in Nigeria and across a variety of payment
channels such as ATMS, POS terminals, Mobile Phones, Kiosks, Web and Bank
Branches and has operations in Nigeria and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. For
more information, visit www.interswitchng.com.

Media Contacts:
Discover Financial Services
Laura Gingiss, 224-405-0185
lauragingiss@discover.com
or
Interswitch Limited
Enyioma Anaba, 234-704-030-3085
eanaba@interswitchng.com

Copyright Business Wire 2013