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The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 11, 2010 • Issue 10:01:01

Diners Club: New brand, new voice

In December 2009, Diners Club International introduced a new global branding campaign that includes a refreshed logo, redesigned card art and Web site, and new print and broadcast advertisements. This is the company's first major rebranding effort in more than six years. It symbolizes the continued fulfillment of the Diners Club promise: to empower card members through access to superior services and exclusive privileges.

"This new campaign really came about because of the acquisition of Diners Club International by Discover Financial Services in July of 2008," said Janice Alfini, Diners Club Senior Vice President, Global Brand and Marketing. "We immediately began working on building a new brand position, a new brand voice with all of our franchisees and franchises. Both companies felt that we really needed to up the profile of our brand and increase our voice in the marketplace."

Discovering new revenue streams

Alfini said that Diners Club now has tremendous new resources as a result of the Discover acquisition. The company is currently expanding its global offerings to airport lounge products that include rewards programs and concierge services.

"We've got a number of other launches planned as well, which just shows the kind of resources and talent that our new owner brings to our entire network," Alfini said. "We are currently rolling out the brand campaign in eight countries. We want to revitalize our brand with the younger generation because there is a huge range of activity with new product and service innovations."

Diners Club charges from international card members now go through the Discover Network, so merchants can leverage all of the benefits Discover offers in partnership with Diners Club North America.

"Historically we've been known as the T&E [travel and entertainment] card, especially in the U.S.," Alfini said. "But overseas we have a full and broad product line. In addition to our standard consumer product, we have premium consumer cards, corporate cards and travel accounts, various co-branded card products, rewards and loyalty programs, as well as card programs targeted to young professionals, to name a few."

Expanding North American footprint

Several recent events highlight Diners Club's efforts to expand its geographic footprint and suite of offerings in the United States and Canada.

In August 2009, Interac, the Canadian debit network, and Pulse, Discover's debit network, signed an agreement to give Diners Club, Discover and Pulse cardholders the ability to withdraw money from ATMs of participating Canadian acquirers.

In September, Diners Club signed a merchant acquiring agreement with payment processor Elavon Inc. Under terms of the partnership, Elavon will add Diners Club card acceptance to its portfolio.

This relationship is designed to create more payment opportunities for Diners Club card members, who eventually will be able to use their cards at Elavon merchants in the United Kingdom and Western Europe.

And in November, Citigroup Inc. sold its Diners Club North America card business to Montreal-based BMO Financial Group, which gives BMO exclusive rights to issue Diners Club cards in the United States and Canada. According to Alfini, these moves are significant strides in the company's mission to achieve higher brand visibility and strengthen its offerings in the North American market.

"We have had the T&E space since our inception 60 years ago, which is really part of the DNA of the business, and we continue to expand into everyday card use as a part of our new brand campaign," Alfini said.

"We will continue to develop new products as a result of the Discover acquisition of Diners Club International.

"Additionally, with the announcement of the acquisition by BMO, I think we'll have new momentum in the North American market.

From a merchant outlook, I think it maybe very good timing for them if they're looking for additional payment options. And we're happy, ready and able to provide viable payment alternatives through the acceptance of Diners Club and Discover card products." end of article

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