Discover’s Q3 results showed a sharp slowdown in volume processed by its 25 network partners. These are third party schemes, such as SIBS and RuPay, whose cards run over Discover rails when used outside their home country.
Network partner volume was down 17% in Q3 to $9.8bn. Management said that Ariba Pay, a longstanding Discover partner which helps businesses settle invoices, was the main contributor to the poor performance. Partner volume has not increased since the end of the pandemic. This trend is particularly surprising in the light of reports from Visa and Mastercard of continued c.20% growth in cross-border commerce, and will be giving Jason Hanson, Discover’s new payment supremo, cause for concern.
In contrast, Diners which is still largely a series of national franchises, continues its positive trend. Boosted by the upturn in global travel and tourism, Diners volume grew 11% to $9.7bn.