I have used Visa exclusively for 15, now I have my first Discover card.

A notable difference is that Visa always carries the name of the bank (for me it was Chase); but the Discover card does not. This made the distinction clear -- Visa provided clearing services and Chase is the one that I owed money to. Also, it was Chase's (or my "Chase Amazon.com") phone number on the back.

Who is the bank that is giving me credit with my new Discover card?

2 Answers 2


Unlike MasterCard and Visa who only provide clearing service and tie up Banks to actually issue cards or POS terminals for merchants;

Discover card operates more like American Express. It's a totally different network; cards and POS to merchants are directly offered by Discover Bank only. There is no other banks that issue this card.

  • Actually, AMEX does issue through banks as well. In the US I believe BoA is issuing AMEX cards.
    – littleadv
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 3:21
  • @littleadv agreed BoA is issuing Amex and there are some / few other banks as well. But a vast majority of the cards are issued by Amex themselves.
    – Dheer
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 5:50

In 1984, Sears Roebuck bought the Greenwood Trust Company of Greenwood, Delaware and launched Discover Card (originally as a Sears card). 1984 NYT story

You used to be able to pay Discover bills in person at Sears cashiers.

Sears soon spun it off. In 2000 Greenwood Trust renamed itself Discover Bank.

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