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Discover, First Data Deal Could Increase Acceptance of Discover Card

by Peter Andrew
Discover, First Data Deal Could Increase Acceptance of Discover Card

Discover Financial Services and First Data Corp. announced an agreement Friday in which First Data will offer Discover Network card acceptance as part of its services to small- and medium-sized merchants. The agreement should lead to a more convenient acceptance process for small businesses that use First Data’s services, which in turn could mean consumers will find more merchants accepting Discover credit cards.

A long-time competitive disadvantage for Discover has been that it simply isn’t accepted at as many locations as MasterCard or Visa. (Differing estimates peg Discover’s merchant acceptance at about 65-75% of Visa and MasterCard’s.) And many processors such as First Data have offered merchants more of a “one stop shop” in handling MasterCard and Visa transactions, while Discover transactions have required additional payments steps and paperwork. Agreements such as the one announced Friday could enhance the perception that accepting Discover cards is as easy as accepting the others.

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