The Discover card brand is moving forward with an effort to reintroduce a signature debit card to financial institutions, including credit unions, which might find it a strong program in a post-Durbin debit industry.
The card brand announced its first debit card deal with a financial institution – Cadence Bank in Birmingham, Ala. – this week but said several credit unions have also expressed interest in issuing the card.
Discover executives tout what they describe as increased flexibility that comes with their debit card as well as significantly more transparency and simplicity as reasons credit unions might be interested in issuing their card.
Judith McGuire, executive vice president of product management, recounted a recent briefing Discover executives had conducted for a credit union executive team where one of the team members had challenged Discover's assertion that its bill for a month's debit card program services only ran two pages.
“She said 'it does not just run two pages. It can't be that small,' McGuire said, explaining that the short bill length illustrated both how easily a credit union could understand what it is paying with Discover Debit as well as its affordability.
McGuire explained that the brand claims the card carries a competitive interchange rate when compared with other card brands but also significantly lower charges which, she said, means financial institutions which issue the card earn a higher rate of return on Discover debit cards than other debit products.
Discover executives said the card had originally been developed in 2006 but that the brand had decided to reintroduce it now when it said market conditions were more favorable.