Metris Companies to Issue New Discover Credit Card
Credit card issuer Metris Companies has reached an agreement with Discover Financial Services to issue a new Discover-branded credit card. No specifics of the card were offered to judge how it may be differentiated in the marketplace, but the announcement was newsworthy nonetheless.
A long court battle with MasterCard and Visa ended earlier this year with a judge ordering that those organizations could not prohibit issuing banks from partnering with other processing companies. In effect, the verdict allowed Discover (and American Express) to not only issue their own credit cards, but to also serve in the same capacity as a MasterCard or Visa has traditionally operated.
As a result, Discover Financial Services created the Discover Network and began working with issuers such as Metris to issue a wider-range of Discover-branded cards. (For example, a Wal-Mart Discover card was launched earlier this year in partnership with GE Money Bank.) Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Metris is the 11th-largest bankcard issuer.
The new Discover card will be issued by Metris subsidiary Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank, N.A. and is expected to be available to customers by the end of 2005.
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