Consumer Payment Card News


what-did-discover-do-in-2013Plenty! . . . . Among Discover’s contributions to its cardholders is: Free FICO; New it Card; Debit Buzz Points; Seasonal Cashback Bonus promotions for Gas, Home Improvements and Online Purchases; Upgrades to Discover’s Debit Fraud Fighter; PULSE P2P; and even a Major Award for Rewards.


FREE FICO SCORES: Perhaps the biggest news for Discover credit cardholders from 2013 is free FICO Scores, which appear on their monthly statements. Now, in 2014, Discover rolled out free FICO Scores to all its eligible consumer credit cardmembers, in addition to providing the two key factors explaining what information from a person’s TransUnion credit report influenced his or her particular FICO Score. Discover became the first major credit card issuer to provide free FICO Scores on monthly statements. Discover cardholders will also see the FICO Score Meter, indicating the relative strength of their scores, as well as educational content to help them better understand them. While credit scores can serve as a key indicator in understanding one’s financial health, a recent independent survey commissioned by Discover found that nearly 40 percent of Americans didn’t check their credit score in the past year.

COOL NEW CARD: Among the biggest news of 2013 from Discover was the national launch of the Discover it card. The metallic blue card resembles brushed steel, with the cardholder’s name and card number printed on the back of the card. The no annual fee credit card also offers no overlimit fee, no pay-by-phone fee, no foreign transaction fee, and no fee for your first late payment. Plus Discover promises not to raise a cardholder’s APR for paying late. Cardholders earn 5% Cashback Bonus in relevant categories that change throughout the year, up to a quarterly maximum, when they sign up for each 5% program. Cardholders automatically earn 1% Cashback Bonus on all other purchases, not points. Cardholders also earn 5-20% Cashback Bonus through the company’s online shopping portal, ShopDiscover. Cardholders can choose their own due dates and pay until midnight (ET) online or by phone. Free online management tools, mobile apps and e-mail reminders are offered too.

DEBIT REWARDS: Discover’s PULSE, a leading debit/ATM network, began offering Buzz Points to its financial institution participants. Buzz Points enables financial institutions to connect with customers and local merchants through rewards and social-media engagement. The Buzz Points loyalty program offers rewards that encourage consumers to shop locally and support merchants in their communities. Participating cardholders earn reward points that could be redeemed for gift cards or donated to charitable causes.

5% CASHBACK BONUS PROGRAM: Discover offers cardholders the opportunity to earn 5% Cashback Bonus on purchases in categories that change throughout the year. For example, Discover offered 5% Cashback Bonus on up to $1,500 in home improvement purchases, gas, and online holiday shopping. Discover cardholders simply signed up to earn 5% Cashback Bonus on up to $1,500 in purchases. After making $1,500 in purchases, Discover cardholders still automatically earned their standard Cashback Bonus on all other purchases.

ONLINE SHOPPING PORTAL:  ShopDiscover is Discover’s online shopping portal exclusively for cardmembers that offers 5-20% Cashback Bonus at more than 200 popular online merchants all year long. The portal frequently offers cash back increase promotions, such as during the back-to-school season, holiday season, and graduation season. Look forward to these promotions returning in 2014.

REWARDS RECOGNIZED: Discover’s Pay with Cashback Bonus option earned top awards for its convenience and choice to cardholders through flexible options to redeem cash rewards while shopping online. Discover ranked 77th on the 2013 InformationWeek 500 annual list. Discover’s new platform enables Discover customers to simply use some, none, or all of their Discover Cashback Bonus or Miles Rewards to pay for their purchases online at select merchants’ websites.

DEBIT FRAUD: Discover worked hard last year to help mitigate fraud on your debit card. PULSE, a top debit/ATM network, implemented a major upgrade to its DebitProtect Fraud Mitigation Service and introduced an optional fraud blocking service. The enhanced system allows transactions to be blocked in real time, enabling PULSE participants to respond faster to suspected fraud before more fraud is perpetrated on a card, thus reducing losses and decreasing cardholder impact. DebitProtect operates in milliseconds, evaluating transactions in flight, detecting high-risk transactions and alerting card issuers in seconds, often before the cardholder has left the terminal.

NEW DEBIT CARD: If you are a cardholder with Cadence Bank, there is a new Discover signature debit card with your name on it. The Cadence Bank Debit Card, powered by Discover Debit, was issued to all of the bank’s debit cardholders during 2013.

P2P TRANSACTIONS: Discover’s PULSE debit network enhanced its ability to facilitate person-to-person (P2P) debit transactions. PULSE enabled Acculynk’s Payzur solution to give its issuers and their cardholders access to an additional P2P solution. Payzur allows consumers to send funds simply by authenticating the mobile- or web-initiated transaction with their debit card PIN via Acculynk’s PaySecure online graphical PIN pad. This real-time P2P solution is as simple and fast as using PIN debit at the point of sale. Consumers can use their smartphone, or other web-access device such as a tablet PC, along with their PIN, to send payments. Most cardholders will see transactions post to their account more quickly.


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