In its latest effort to widen use of its credit cards, Discover Financial Services is asking state, local, and federal government agencies to accept Discover cards for consumer tax and fee payments.

Many agencies already work with Discover, which touts its advantage as the only major card brand that always permits government entities to make consumers pay the fees that would normally be paid by merchants. Visa U.S.A. will not let its cards be used for Internal Revenue Service tax payments because of this surcharge issue, and American Express Co. and MasterCard International have taken middle-ground positions.

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