Discover Financial Services (DFS) and Interswitch Limited, the largest integrated payment processing service provider in Nigeria and promoter of the leading card network, Verve, today announced a strategic alliance that will allow acceptance of Discover and Diners Club International (DCI) cards at Interswitch-enabled ATM and point-of-sale (POS) terminals for purchases in Nigeria.
It will also allow Verve cardholders to have access to Discover, Diners Club International and PULSE networks for international purchases and cash access outside of Nigeria.
The long-term agreement, which will be implemented in phases, will focus first on enabling about 20 million Verve cards on the PULSE global ATM network, followed by acceptance opportunities for Discover and Diners Club cards in Nigeria, and then the acceptance of Verve cards across the Discover global network. The Discover global network, which includes Diners Club, PULSE and other partner networks, provides acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories.
Discover and Interswitch also will collaborate on the integration of Discover DPAS EMV solutions and fraud monitoring solutions to ensure safe transactions across both networks. The companies also plan to look at future opportunities for emerging payment products in Nigeria and in other Interswitch markets.
"This alliance is significant to Discover's strategy of creating an alternative global payments network that gives both financial institutions and consumers more choice," said Diane Offereins, EVP and President of Discover Payment Services. "By partnering with regional payments networks such as Interswitch, Discover is able to leverage its unique set of assets to grow volume, while providing our partners with the global reach and localized preferences and needs they require."
Discover has established network to network alliances across the globe, including in China, Japan, Korea, Serbia and India. These alliances provide valuable access to Discover's global acceptance footprint and deliver value and volume to merchants and partners.
"This alliance is another step in the right direction for Verve. We continue to look for new opportunities to expand our payments network, and our partnership with Discover is an example of that," said Charles Ifedi, CEO of Verve. "The new agreement with Discover Financial Services provides our issuing members with new options for ATM and POS access around the globe while also giving Verve cardholders what they deserve, more convenience at home and abroad."
"This partnership is a major milestone in our 10-year history. We will also leverage Discover's suite of solutions to deliver innovative card and electronic payment initiatives across various sectors in the market," said Mitchell Elegbe, Group MD/CEO, Interswitch. "One of the objectives of the Central Bank of Nigeria's Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS 2020) is to advance the efficiency of the country's e-payment systems by reducing the reliance on cash and promoting interoperability among financial institutions. The agreement between Discover and Interswitch will contribute positively towards this vision."