January 15, 2009
Discover Card users will have new ways to control their credit cards, as the company is jumping into the mobile game and enabling users to access accounts from a Web-enabled cell phone or smartphone.
The financial company has launched a mobile Web site that lets users make payments, view recent transactions and payments, view rewards activity, and enroll in bonus programs. The service is free to existing card members, and it can be accessed by pointing a mobile browser to m.discover.com. "Discover.com Mobile provides a new service channel that allows card members to have access to their account information right at their fingertips," said Sarah Alter, VP of e-business and new markets at Discover Financial Services, in a statement. "Whether by telephone, Internet, or now mobile phone, Discover Card is committed to providing card members with the services they need at the time, place and method they choose." Discover is the latest credit card company eying the mobile space, as rivals Visa and MasterCard are rapidly utilizing cell phones and smartphones for mobile banking and payment services. Visa has invested heavily in mobile payment over the last few years, and it's focusing on letting handset users get discounts via text message, releasing apps for various smartphone platforms, and providing mobile banking programs for cardholders to check their accounts on the go. The company also is working with Nokia for a 3G handset with Near Field Communication technology that can be used for contactless payments. Rival MasterCard is keeping pace as well, and it offers person-to-person payments, mobile commerce, account management, and other mobile services. Despite the companies' efforts, one study suggests these services have yet to gain traction with U.S. consumers.
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