Rediscovering Discover – The Network of Networks

International tourists spent close to $1.4 trillion during their cross-border adventures in 2015. Since international tourism is one of the largest sources of income for a significant number of destinations around the world – in developing countries and developed ones – the banking industry has had to evolve their instruments to ensure that costs associated with international payments are democratized enough, and, at the same time, leverage the opportunity to profitably prime the traveling population to incur significant expenses.

Regardless of how far the FinServ industry has come in stacking up perks on credit cards, one of the biggest consumer pain points in international payments remains intact – foreign transaction fees.

But what if I told you that there is one network operating across 185 countries that allows cardholders to make foreign payments with no foreign transaction fees? It’s time to rediscover Discover Financial Services – one of the most unique global FinServ businesses.

Discover started its journey in 1985 and introduced its first cash reward credit card in 1986. Discover was the first in the industry to introduce a cash rewards card and also offer 24/7 customer service without charging an annual fee, all of which was almost unheard of back in 1986. Today, Discover Global Network features more than 70 million cardholders, 37 million merchant acceptance locations and one million ATM and cash access locations across 185 countries and territories.

The company’s Q2 2017 financial report reveals that Discover credit card loans reached $61.8 billion and Discover card sales volume increased 5% from the prior year. Consumer deposits grew $3.6 billion (11%) from the prior year to $37.7 billion. Payment services' transaction dollar volume stood at $50.1 billion. In Q2 2017, Discover Financial Services reported net income of $546 million.

Long story short, Discover of 2017 is a massive and, more importantly, an innovative business. One of the hallmarks of Discover is that the institution is both the network provider an ...

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