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Discover Releases Credit Card for Business Owners

Despite its relatively late entry, the company says the category is still underserved.

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."

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