Discover’s international expansion efforts show mixed results in Q4 2022

Discover, the third-largest card brand in the United States, has been expanding its international acceptance network through partnerships with merchant acquirers and payment gateways. The move allows the company’s US cardholders to use their cards abroad, and also enables local debit schemes to access the network as an alternative to co-badging with Visa or Mastercard.

Despite continued investment, network partner volume fell 7% to $10.4bn in Q4 2022. This is a very disappointing result given the positive numbers reported for international transactions by Visa and Mastercard. The decline in network partner volume was attributed by management to lower transaction volume which is not a particularly helpful explanation.

More positively, the company’s Diner’s volume continued to grow, with a 24% increase to $9.2bn in Q4 2022. This growth was attributed to an improvement in global T&E and corporate spending.

In product news, Discover has launched its transit solution with European partners including EMT Madrid, Metro de Seville via GetNet in Spain, and Mennica in Poland, which is expected to encourage cardholders to use their Discover Global Network branded cards.

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