Travel rebound boosts Discover Global Network

Improving conditions for international travel boosted spending on Discover’s Global Network in Q2. 

Discover is the third card brand in the USA, a long way behind Visa and Mastercard, but very profitable nonetheless. Discover bought Diners Club International from Citbank in 2008 which gave it the basis of a global acceptance network. Diners cards are still issued in various countries by franchise partners although not so much in Europe these days. For example, the Diners Club franchise partner in Poland recently announced it was exiting the market.

Discover has continued to invest in growing its international acceptance through deals with merchant acquirers and local debit schemes. More than 25 other networks, issuers and fintechs access the DGN rails to give their customers the ability to use their cards internationally. The latest partner is Bancomat which was announced in June 2022. When implemented, this alliance will allow cardholders access to the Bancomat acceptance network in Italy. 

Diners volume was up 37% year-on-year in Q2 to $8.4bn “reflecting improvement in global T&E spending.

Network partners volume was up 22% to $11.5bn “driven by higher AribaPay volume.” AribaPay is a collaboration between SAP and Discover in North America for B2B payments. 

Roger Hochschild, CEO, said that he remained “committed to expanding our international merchant coverage… We see a lot of value from the network, not just in the Payment Services segment, but for the differentiation and capabilities it gives our card issuing business, and in particular, the support it provides for rewards on debit, which is a real differentiator in the marketplace.”

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