Morgan Stanley unit Discover has inked a deal with Japanese card issuer JCB that will allow its US customers to use their cards to pay for purchases made in Japan.
Discover cards are not currently accepted in Japan, but under the deal JCB will open its network of 5.9 million merchants in the country to Discover customers beginning in 2008.
In return Discover will give JCB, which is Japan's largest card issuer, access to its network of about four million retailers and other merchants in the US beginning late next year.
Hiroya Nobuhara, president and CEO, JCB, says the deal will bring significant expansion of JCB card acceptance in the US.
"The alliance with Discover will provide a great level of convenience for our cardholders who travel to the US. 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," says Nobuhara.
David Nelms, chairman and CEO of Discover Financial Services, says the deal will also provide new opportunities for US merchants who will benefit from the spending of Japanese visitors: "Our relationship with JCB will facilitate bi-directional international commerce, which will create new opportunities for US merchants to serve JCB cardholders travelling to the US from Japan and other countries."
Citing stats from the US Department of Commerce, Discover says more than 3.8 million Japanese travellers visited the US in 2005 and spent more than $12.9 billion.