New Discover CEO Says Amazon Not A Foe

Payments company Discover's new chief executive officer doesn’t believe that banks should be worried about tech giants like Amazon.

“I view them as partners with leading-edge capabilities that we need,” CEO Roger Hochschild said in a telephone interview, according to Bloomberg. “Very few tech companies want to become a bank, and are keenly aware of some of the challenges and regulation[s] that come with it. So, I think the risk of some of these tech players getting into banking is a bit overstated.”

He added that Amazon and Google are valuable partners for Discover, which utilizes Amazon’s cloud computing services and Google’s speech analytics technology for its call centers. After securing additional partnerships with Apple and PayPal, Hochschild said he will continue to strike deals with companies developing emerging forms of payments.

“Financial institutions that fall behind in terms of driving business value from the new technologies will wake up three years from now, fundamentally noncompetitive,” Hochschild said.

Named the company's chief executive in August, Hochschild is succeeding David Nelms, who plans to retire in 2019 and will continue as executive chairman until that point. Hochschild, 54, who has been president of the card company since 2004, will retain that title, as well as join the company’s board of directors. He helped lead the direct banking firm through its 2007 spin-off from Morgan Stanley.

“Roger’s deep experience and proven results make him well-suited to lead Discover to new heights of success,” Nelms said in a statement at the time.

Prior to joining Discover, Hochschild worked for consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, and had served in various leadership roles at MBNA America. He has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College.

Discover, besides its core credit card business, also provides private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit. The firm had $84.2 billion in loan receivables and $39.4 billion in deposits, according to the August report.



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