Magazine article American Banker

Dean Witter Discovered That New Card Strategy Required the Old Name

Magazine article American Banker

Dean Witter Discovered That New Card Strategy Required the Old Name

Article excerpt

With its announcement of a subsidiary's name change this week, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. underscored the fresh look it is taking at its credit card strategy.

After years of trying to establish Novus as its umbrella payment and acceptance mark on cards and at points of sale, the company said that it is changing the name of its Riverwoods, Ill., card subsidiary from Novus Services Inc. to Discover Financial Services Inc.

Morgan Stanley seems to be bowing to the fact that more Americans recognize the Discover name.

Accompanying the corporate identity change will be the laborious task of adding the Discover logo to the decals that thousands of merchants display in their stores.

There had been signs of a greater emphasis on Discover. The name has cropped up, for example, on mortgages and certificates of deposit, which are issued through a Delaware affiliate, Greenwood Trust Co.

Morgan Stanley's on-line brokerage service is called Discover Brokerage Direct, and its Discover Connection Internet Service gives cardholders Internet access for $18.95 a month.

"It makes sense for us to take advantage of the equity we have established in the Discover card name," said David W. Nelms, president and chief operating officer of Discover Financial Services.

Mr. Nelms himself is part of the face-lift. The 37-year-old executive joined the card unit Sept. 21. He succeeded Thomas R. Butler, who resigned after a 12-year tenure.

The company had originally said Mr. …

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