BUDGETING

Discover Releases Credit Card for Business Owners

Despite its relatively late entry, the company says the category is still underserved.
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Joining American Express, Visa, and MasterCard, Discover Financial Services on Monday released a small-business credit card -- in hopes of attracting some of the 65% of business owners that still do not use one.

The nation's estimated 25 million small businesses spend in excess of $4 trillion a year on goods and services, but just 35% use credit cards, according to Discover. While small-business cards are nothing new, only 10% of spending is done with them, leaving the industry wide open for growth, David Nelms, chairman and CEO of Discover, said in a statement.

The Discover Business Card will give cardholders the ability to write checks, free employee cards with customizable limits, and electronic reporting and control functions.

"We held a large number of focus groups with small businesses to find out their key needs and we created a card that addressed many of them," said Sastry Rachakonda, director of Discover Business Card.
As major corporations like Discover look for ways to expand, many have begun targeting the small-business sector. Within the financial services industry, the major credit-card issuers already offer payment plans, consulting, financial planning, among other services.
Discover officials, however, said they are not fazed by what some analysts describe as a late entry to the small-business category.

"We found that many small business owners still wanted more flexibility, and that is what we are offering," Rachakonda said. "With small business spending at 10%, we are at the infancy of this market, and we have 90% of the market available."

Last updated: Jun 12, 2006




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