Sunday, September 6, 2015

Discover Card

A new credit card was actively marketed with a major advertising campaign initiated in January 1983. Sears, Roebuck and Company began distribution of the Discover Card.

In 1985 the company continued to offer a traditional charge card good only at its store, but its nonbank financial company - the Dean Witter subsidiary Greenwood Trust – launched a new credit card network, called Discover to compete with Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

The credit card was administered by the Greenwood Trust Company. Greenwood was banking entity within the Sears Financial Group.

Following its acquisition of the Caldwell Banker real estate and the Dean Witter brokerage company in the 1980s, Sears was looking for another opportunity to expand its financial services.

By mid-1986 Sears had issued 4.7 million Discover cards, but only two in five cardholders had actually used their cards. By the following year it had established a new subsidiary, Discover Credit to run the business which had outstripped the ability of Greenwood Trust to fund with deposits.

This orange-on-black card became one of the greatest business success stories of the 1980s, helped by Sear’s seventy-plus years of experience with MasterCard and its decision to offer the card to twenty-five million creditworthy Sears cardholders.

By 1991, the Discover Card was accepted by more merchants than the American Express Card.

In 2004, Discover entered the debit card business by purchasing Pulse EFT, and electronic network previously owned by 4,100 banks.
Discover Card

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