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Discover Financial, Nets Pair Up to Boost Payment Solutions

Zacks Equity Research

Diners Club International, a subsidiary of Discover Financial Services DFS and part of the Discover Global Network, has entered into an agreement with Nets, a leading payment processor and acquirer in Europe.

Per the pact, Discover Financial will be able to broaden the acceptance of its Discover Global Network across Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

The company has a broad Global Network with more than 44 million merchant acceptance locations plus 2 million ATM and cash access hubs across 190 countries and territories. Its network includes Discover, Diners Club International, PULSE and affiliated networks.

This tie-up with Nets is in line with the company’s strategic efforts to expand its payments business volume. The company consistently leverages network to support its card-issuing business.

Recently, Discover Financial teamed up with 3C Payment, a leading global payment service provider and IDEMIA, the world leader in Augmented Identity, to facilitate and accelerate mobile and digital contactless payment adoption and rollout by card issuers.

These partnerships will translate into increased processed transactions for Discover Financial. For the first nine months of 2018, the company processed $277.5 billion of transactions via its network, which was up 13% year over year. The company’s collaboration with third-party acquirers as in the latest one will further perk up its transaction processing volumes.

Discover Financial is one of the major card issuers in the United States and a leading innovator in the credit card industry. The company steadily launches products, tailor-made for specific customer needs in order to woo new ones. It is also active in forging alliances and partnerships that led to growth in card sales volume at 4% average rate in the last four years (2013-2017), primarily owing to higher number of customers using Discover card.

Additionally, the metric grew 12% year over year during the first nine months of 2018. We believe that significant investments in marketing and business development will continue to drive Discover Financial’s card account growth and card sales volumes in the future.

Shares of Discover Financial have lost 16% in a year’s time compared with the industry’s decline of 18%.

The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are Ally Financial Inc. ALLY, SLM Corporation SLM and CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. CTT, each stock carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Ally Financial beat estimates in each of the last four reported quarters, the average being 13.1% while SLM Corporation and CatchMark Timber topped the same in two of the trailing four reported quarters, the average positive surprise being 5.3% and 15.7%, respectively.

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