While Discover has a much smaller debit-card network than Visa and MasterCard do, the upstart gained ground in 2012, as Discover benefited from new routing rules.
But last year, after Visa launched a number of strategies aimed at regaining market share, Discovers volume flat-lined.
U.S. debit volume growth on Discovers Pulse network was 0% in 2013, while MasterCard saw a 6% increase, and Visa enjoyed a 9% jump, according to a presentation Discover showed to analysts today.
Discover executives said theyre trying a number of strategies to compete with the big guys, including allowing PIN-less transactions on purchases under $50.
They acknowledged that 2013 was a challenging year but also sought to put a positive gloss on the debit networks struggles. I view that as a lot more upside, Discover CEO David Nelms said.
A longer version of this story appears on American Banker.