Magazine Article | March 20, 2013

Discover ® ‘Different' — Deliver New Opportunities And Grow Your Portfolio

By John Badovinac, Sr. Manager Acquirer Relations, Discover Financial Services

Discover is different.
We view our network differently. We enable partners to deliver new opportunities by providing access to a growing domestic payment network and to millions of merchants that we are connected to. We have recently enabled payment solutions for some of the largest international payment brands including China’s UnionPay, Japan’s JCB, South Korea’s BCcard, and RuPay of India. This means that as long as a VAR’s merchant accepts Discover, they can take advantage of the dramatic growth of spend here in the domestic U.S. by international travelers and students. Discover is also delivering opportunities by providing connectivity to leaders in mobile payments and social media. These actions create new opportunities for VARs to enable their merchants to accept more payment options and offer new user experiences. They also provide VARs with the opportunity to enable their merchants to offer consumers the opportunity to pay with a rewarding payment option.

VARs Can Deliver New Opportunities — VARs can take advantage of the Discover difference and offer more services to their merchants. In order to do so, VARs and their partners need to:

  1. Engage. Make sure your merchants can take advantage of these new opportunities. Engaging with Discover will quickly ensure that all technical requirements for these new opportunities are understood and enabled by any entity that connects the VAR’s merchants to payments. These entities include Point-Of-Sale (POS) providers, merchant services providers, gateways, and processors.
  2. Promote. VARs need to let merchants and cardholders know that these solutions are accepted. It is critical to post comprehensive signage at merchant outlets so that consumers are confident that their payment options are accepted. Discover offers free merchant signage and extensive merchant collateral that VARs can use to further strengthen merchant relationships and drive recurring spend. Visit and register.
  3. Validate. VARs should test terminals to be certain that their merchants can take advantage of these opportunities. Discover has recently launched a new program that offers VARs access to free test cards and incentives to help make the validation process easy and rewarding.

VARs can accelerate the adoption of these opportunities at the POS by taking advantage of these resources and incentives that Discover offers. VARs can also play their part in delivering these new solutions to market quickly by demanding speed from the providers they partner with. They should consider asking their providers:

  • How rapidly can they drive enhancements to the POS?
  • Can they drive change not only via new sales, but to existing merchants as well?
  • Do they offer maintenance contracts that allow for rapid dissemination of new content without additional hassle or costly upgrades?
  • Do they have a flexible business architecture that is built for change?
  • Finally, do they provide tools to accelerate adoption of these changes at merchant locations?

Grow Your Portfolio. There is more change coming. The best way VARs can prepare for new opportunities and secure their portfolio is to ensure that they are the trusted advisor that introduces these new opportunities to their merchants. VARs should ensure they are aligned with partners and providers that can best deliver change to the POS and prepare for new opportunities. They should learn more about the resources Discover has developed to help them enable their merchants to enjoy the benefits of being different. For more information on the resources Discover offers to help you prepare your merchants for new opportunities — please contact Michael Cornell at

Contact Information
Discover Financial Services
2500 Lake Cook Rd.
Riverwoods, IL 60015
(800) 951-0633