Riverwoods, Illinois and Tokyo,Japan- August 23, 2006-Discover Financial Services LLC, a business unit of Morgan Stanley(NYSE:MS), and JCB, the largest card issuer and acquirer in Japan, today announced they have entered into a strategic relationship that will lead to increased card acceptance for both companies.
The two parties have agreed to an arrangement that will facilitate acceptance of JCB cards on the Discover Network in the U.S., and of Discover Network cards on the JCB network in Japan, and acceptance of PULSE cards at targeted ATMs in Japan at the option of the card issuer.In 2007, Discover Network will begin enabling its systems so JCB cardholders will be able to use their JCB cards at Discover Network merchant locations throughout the United States.Upon completion of a JCB system enhancement, Discover Network cardholders will be able to use their cards for purchases at JCB merchant locations and for cash advances at targeted ATMs throughout Japan beginning in 2008.
"This strategic relationship with Discover will bring significant expansion of JCB card acceptance in the United States," said Hiroya Nobuhara, president and CEO, JCB. "The alliance with Discover will provide a great level of convenience for our cardholders who travel to the U.S. In addition, by offering Discover Network acceptance to its Japanese merchants, JCB expects to further strengthen its position in providing credit card payment solutions in Japan."
JCB merchants in Japan also are expected to gain access to the incremental card spend of Discover Network cardholders. Based on U.S. Department of Commerce statistics, Discover projects that more than 1 million Americans will travel to Japan in 2006, and will spend more than $3,400 per trip, on average.
Discover expects this strategic deal will provide new opportunities for many U.S. merchants who will benefit from the spending of Japanese visitors. Accoriding to the U.S.Department of Commerce, more than 3.8million Japanese travelers visited the U.S. in 2005, and spent more than $12.9 billion.
"Our relationship with JCB will facilitate bidirectional international commerce,which will create new opportunities for U.S. merchants to serve JCB cardholders traveling to the U.S. from Japan and other countries," said David Nelms, chairman and CEO of Discover Financial Services. "This agreement also creates value for Discover Network cardholders by expanding acceptance into Japan, which is a key international market."
Discover Network cards already are accepted in other regions popular with U.S.travelers, including Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Discover also recently signed an agreement that will enable the acceptance of Discover Network cards in Central America. Last year, Discover entered into a strategic alliance with China UnionPay to provide acceptance in China and other markets.
The agreement with JCB represents another important step for Discover as it continues to evolve into a broad-based payments company supporting multiple issuers and products, while bringing choice and value to merchants, issuers and consumers. Other key initiatives include: agreements with more than a dozen credit and prepaid issuers to issue cards on Discover Network including HSBC and GE Money; the launch of Discover Debit, Discover's signature debit program;and the acquisition of the PULSE ATM/debit network.
About Discover Financial Services
Discover Financial Services LLC, a business unit of Morgan Stanley(NYSE:MS), operates the Discover Card with more than 50 million Cardmembers, and the Discover Network, with more than 4 million merchant and cash access locations. Discover Financial Services also operates the PULSE ATM/debit network, which serves more than 4,200 financial institutions and includes nearly 250,000 ATMs and approximately 3.4 million POS terminals. For more information, visit www.discovercard.com, www.discovernetwork.com or www.pulse-eft.com.