Discover CEO David Nelms declared late Tuesday (Oct. 21) that his brand–the largest of the card brands to not join Apple Pay–will indeed soon be an Apple Pay partner.
“I would say that we certainly do expect to be participating in Apple Pay. We don’t know when that will be but we will be actively working to be included over time,” Nelms said, adding his voice to the chorus that the payments space would love for mobile payment to be adopted more quickly.
“We’ve been hoping they took off faster. It always seemed to take a little longer than you would like but I think mobile payments has their prospect to have more going into our cards as opposed to cash and check to add more features and functionality to consumers and their purchasing which I think is good for customers and good for our industry,” He said. “So just generically we’re excited about the various mobile efforts in the industry and there is obviously a number of them going on right now.”
On the earnings side, strong credit card loan growth, card sale volume and the growth in card volume for Discover gave the financial company a strong quarter as it reported $2.2 billion in third-quarter revenue earnings — a $128 million growth of 6 percent — and reported a net income of $644 million, resulting in $1.37 per share. This compares to last year’s net income of $593 million, or $1.20 per share.
Nelms cited Discover’s customer-centric model in delivering products and loyalty rewards as a basis for growth this quarter. Specifically, he talked about the ability of Discover’s users to log in to its mobile banking with finger print authorization, the mobile-friendly option to quickly activate or freeze accounts, and the addition of Amazon Instant Rewards that are linked to a user’s Amazon profile when a Discover card is registered on the site. The focus on customer rewards, and ease of products have lead to stronger card volume and card sales volume, he said.
Discover’s card volume was at $32.1 million for third-quarter, an almost $2 million increase compared with last year’s identical quarter. year over year. In terms of card sales volume, Discover posted $29.61 million, up roughly $1.6 million from last year’s identical quarter. Card sales for the quarter increased 5.8 percent from the prior year.
“I am very pleased with Discover’s results this quarter, which were driven by robust card loan growth, strong revenue growth and near historically low credit performance resulting in continued better than industry returns,” Nelms said in the earnings report. “Our Direct Banking strategy continues to work as we grow consumer loans faster than our peers and return meaningful amounts of capital back to our shareholders.”
Other revenue drivers for Discover came from a higher portion of customers revolving balances and having lower interest charge-offs. Transaction process revenue brought in 46 million, unchanged from last year. Discount/Interchange revenue for the quarter were $599 million, up $49 million from last year, but after factoring in rewards costs, the net revenue for discount/interchange came in at $295 million, up $19 million from last year.