Discover’s Parikh Taking Prepaid To New Bounds

Discover Financial Services has a long history of trying to do things differently, starting out with the Cashback Bonus for card transactions and no annual fees. In doing so, it doesn’t try to emulate what’s occurring in the marketplace.

Since taking prepaid responsibilities at Discover a year ago, Amit Parikh has had as one of his challenges working with customers on how to expand prepaid use in meaningful ways. The key is to be flexible to provide the best customer value proposition, he told’s Jeffrey Green in a recent podcast interview. And that’s generally not a simple process.

(jump to: 4:27) “That’s easy to say, but it’s hard to deliver on, and I think we’ve delivered on it,” Parikh said. “From a prepaid standpoint, we’ve done deals in the lottery space, and the casino space and social media that are different from what’s really going on in prepaid.”

Just as Discover did originally when it rolled out with something different, Parikh said he looks at what’s on the edges to be different, flexible and able to drive a compelling solution to the consumer.

(jump to: 5:12) “We’re not looking for a solution to a problem that’s nonexistent; we’re looking at how we can expand the electronification of payments to the mass market,” he said.

And just as emerging technology plays a role in making things simpler, Parikh said, everything Discover does with payments has to do with consumer adoption. (jump to: 7:40) “If you look at the proliferation of smartphones in the U.S. and globally, essentially people have a computer in their pocket,” he said. “And so, how do you create a great consumer experience where the access device ends up being a prepaid card … ?” he said.

When working with partners, Discover serves as an “add-on” to their own “great experiences” that they’re already creating for their own customers, Parikh said. “And we are ensuring that we’re working with the right partners to create the right distribution, and the right consumer experience, and we’re testing a lot,” he said.

To learn more about how Parikh is working both within Discover’s “different” environment while helping customers find their niches in prepaid, listen to the full podcast by clicking below.





Amit Parikh2Amit Parikh, Global Head of Prepaid, Discover

Amit Parikh is the Global Head of Prepaid and Director of Business Development for Discover Financial Services. He has had the role of Director of Business Development since 2010. In this capacity, Mr. Parikh completed multiple strategic investments and secured Discover Financial Services’ relationship with Rupay, the largest domestic payment network in India. In early 2013, he was given the added responsibility of being the Global Head of the Prepaid.

Mr. Parikh joined the company in 2002 and has held several positions in Information Technology and Investor Relations before assuming his current role. He has extensive knowledge of the financial services, information technology, and payments industries.

Mr. Parikh is a member of the Finance Committee of, a New York-based not-for-profit that helps young people make a positive impact on their communities and their own lives.

Mr. Parikh holds MBA degrees from both the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and the Columbia Business School.