Discover Prepares For SignatureDebit

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CHICAGO - (01/11/06) – Discover Financial Services,the owner of Pulse EFT, said it is preparing to launch asignature-based, or offline, debit card program, tied to demanddeposits. Discover’s acquisition of Pulse a year ago gave itaccess to deposit accounts at 4,100 financial institution, about2,600 of them credit unions. Visa check card and debit Mastercardare the nation’s only offline debit programs, issuing about245 million cards. Consumers sign for purchases when they makeoffline debit purchases, and all of those transactions currentlyflow through either Visa and Mastercard. Most debit cards alsoallow consumers to pay be entering a PIN, and those transactionsare routed through networks like Pulse, Star and NYCE.

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