The Discover Card is the #4 US credit/debit card platform behind Visa, MasterCard and American Express, operating more or less exclusively in the domestic market. Market share is well below that of the big three, at around 2% of total US purchase volumes in 2019, with approximately 57m cards in circulation. However, Discover prides itself on working harder to provide top-quality customer service. It has done this most effectively with the entertaining "Peggy" marketing campaign in the early 2010s, which suggested that other companies' call-centres are in reality run by incompetent foreigners in far-flung corners of the globe. The comapny regularly achieves top rankings for customer satisfaction, and has topped the JD Power survey for credit card providers five times in six years since 2013, overturning the lead traditionally held by American Express. In 2008 Discover also acquired the global Diners Club business from Citigroup - it licenses that brand to financial institutions in individual international markets - and also has its own growing direct banking, mortgages and personal loans business. It also owns and operates the Pulse ATM network with around 2.1m locations in 130 countries, but mostly in the US. Roger Hochschild succeeded David Nelms as CEO in 2018. Net revenues peaked in 2019 at $11.5bn, but slipped back a little in 2020 to $11.1bn. A large provision for pandemic-related credit losses caused net income to fall sharply to $1.1bn. The vast majority of income is generated by interest on credit card balances. Total credit card sales volumes were $154bn. Originally launched by the financial services arm of retail group Sears Roebuck in 1986, Discover became a subsidiary of investment banking giant Morgan Stanley in the 1990s. It was spun off to shareholders as an independent company in 2007.
Capsule checked 27th January 2021
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Adbrands Social Media 7th Sep 2018: FRIDAY CLASSIC: Discover Card "Peggy" by The Martin Agency (2010-13). Between 2010 and 2013, one of America's most popular – and most unlikely – advertising mascots was a charming but wholly incompetent customer service call-handler located in some remote and unspecified Eastern European country. The Martin Agency created this comic anti-hero for Discover Card as an illustration of everything that was bad about other credit card companies; not least their habit of outsourcing customer service to obscure foreign sub-contractors. Kevin Ragland was Martin's associate creative director in charge of the account, with Hal Tench as creative director. Copywriter was John Mahoney with Marco Howell as art director, and Baker Smith was the director for the whole series. ...[Story continues here]..
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