Discover Financial Services today announced an agreement with BC Card, the leading Korean payment network, which will allow BC Card cardholders to utilize the Discover, Diners Club International and PULSE networks for international purchases and cash access outside of Korea.
"Expanded BC Card acceptance will increase transaction volume on all of our networks and provide global access to our new partner, BC Card."
The long-term arrangement will result in increased transaction volume on the Discover, Diners Club and PULSE networks outside of Korea, where Korean cardholders spent $12.6 billion in 2008 on international expenditures, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.
"This agreement marks another expansion of Discover's growing global network, connecting more merchants and ATMs with more cardholders throughout the world," said Diane Offereins, executive vice president for payment services at Discover. "Expanded BC Card acceptance will increase transaction volume on all of our networks and provide global access to our new partner, BC Card."
Founded in 1982, BC Card is the largest domestic payments network in Korea with over 32 percent market share in one of the world's top credit card markets. BC Card has over 52 million cards in Korea today, issued by 11 financial institutions.
"Our new alliance with Discover opens the door to providing BC Card customers with more opportunities to make purchases and access cash around the world, especially in the U.S.," said Chang Hyung-duk, president and CEO of BC Card. "These robust network capabilities deliver growth opportunities for our issuers and new value for our cardholders."
System interoperability is expected to be active by late this year, when BC Card members will start issuing cards under this agreement.
In the past few years, Discover also has entered into strategic alliances with China UnionPay and JCB. These alliances provide valuable access to Discover's acceptance footprint and deliver value and volume to merchants and partners.