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Discover to begin issuing debit cards

Emily Crone

The only form of plastic Discover Financial Services has issued since its beginnings in 1986 is credit cards. After recently signing an agreement with PULSE, an ATM/debit network owned by Discover, and seven other financial institutions, the company will now issue debit cards as well.

A press release says
the debit card programs “are at varying stages of implementation.” The banks in the recent agreement were:

First National Bank in Munday (Munday, Texas)
First National Bank of the Mid-Cities (Bedford, Texas)
The First National Bank of Baird (Baird, Texas)
The First National Bank of Barnesville (Barnesville, Ga.)
The First National Bank of Weatherford (Weatherford, Texas)
The First Security Bank  (Beaver, Okla.)
ValueBank Texas (Corpus Christi, Texas)

“Introducing a new debit card brand can help financial institutions boost card usage by providing an opportunity to market the card to new, low-activity or inactive accounts,” Judith McGuire, senior vice president of product management of PULSE, said in the press release.

The Discover debit cards will be the first alternative to Visa and MasterCard’s debit products in more than 10 years, according to the press release. The Discover debit card program was actually introduced in February 2006, though it is just now becoming more commonly used as more issuers agree to carry the product.

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