Voice of the Industry

How Discover Global Network helped Elo reach international presence

Tuesday 28 July 2020 05:36 CET | Editor: Anda Kania | Voice of the industry

The Paypers sat down with Eduardo Chedid, the CEO of Elo, to discuss the successful journey his company has taken together with Discover Global Network to reach global presence

Elo’s decade of growth in Brazil

Elo is one of the biggest payments players in Brazil – a major domestic debit and credit card brand with over 132 million cards accepted by 10 million merchants in the country. The company started its journey in 2011 as a purely domestic network in a bid to create a convenient, flexible and agile payment product for Brazil-based consumers.

In the beginning, Elo card was issued only by its three founding shareholders – Banco Bradesco, Banco do Brasil, and Caixa Econômica Federal. Today, the company has a portfolio that includes 30 additional issuers, and its products have been improved over time, from one type of debit and credit card to a variety of payments products. It currently also offers prepaid cards, 3DS authentication, tokenization, NFC-enabled payments, as well as upscale specific services per verticals, including the agro-industry, SMEs, and other sectors.

The value proposition of Elo products and services is primarily defined by flexibility and agility. As enabled by the Elo Flex platform, cardholders have the ability to customize their cards according to their needs and lifestyle, and change the configuration once every three months. In all, Elo offers 6,000 combinations of benefits, ranging from travel benefits and bike assistance to pet healthcare plans and more.

The business need – going from local to global with Discover® Global Network

Elo started the collaboration with Discover Global Network in 2015, when the two companies announced that Elo cards would be able to run on the global network, allowing Elo cardholders international acceptance while traveling abroad. One year later, Elo carried out the first transactions outside Brazil, thus achieving the first milestone of the partnership with Discover Global Network.

Elo’s desire for global expansion stemmed from its customers’ demand for a card with global acceptance, a request that came even from cardholders not seeking to travel outside Brazil but interested in cross-border ecommerce shopping. As a result, global acceptance was a must not only for business growth, but it was also aspirational for Elo clients.

Why Discover Global Network?

To help drive its growth and capture global opportunities, Elo was looking for a flexible partner that respected their domestic presence, while being able to enhance their global penetration.

Elo reached out to Discover Global Network for three primary reasons:

  • The network was already well established and highly regarded for its acceptance footprint worldwide. 
  • The company shared a similar approach as Elo with a flexible business model. 
  • In working with Discover Global Network, Elo found a partner willing to share technology investments as well as the costs of innovation.

For example, Elo chose to incorporate the contactless technology provided by Discover Global Network, which gave Elo a significant head start, as well as global interoperability. Elo is currently developing its second version of the online authentication platform 3DS, and by partnering with the global network, it is able to share the investment as well as the benefits. The EMV membership was also considered, enabling Elo to access any updated and upcoming technological security standards.

The results

With millions of Elo Global Cards issued in just the first two years of expanding internationally, the two companies extended their partnership in 2018 by adding the Diners Club International® brand to Elo’s card products.

Today, following the extended collaboration, any cardholder using Elo Diners Club Brazil card issued by one of the member banks has access to more than 1000 airport lounges worldwide, exclusive offers in hotels, resorts, restaurants and shops in more than 50 countries, as well as discounts on international car rentals.

Moreover, before partnering with Discover Global Network, Elo had one type of non-segmented credit card. With its added capabilities, Elo now achieves 40% of its credit card volume from the upscale cardholder segment – an accomplishment that is unlikely without convincing global acceptance. 

The partnership has also proven successful as Elo has managed to enter markets where it initially had little acceptance, such as Chile and Portugal. Although not heavily targeted by Discover Global Network at the time, these locations represented important markets for Brazilian travelers, and it worked hard to ensure that Elo could capture the opportunity.

Thanks to its close working partnership and their shared flexibility, Discover Global Network helped Elo position itself as a major competitor to international players operating in Brazil. Indeed, Elo has the second most number of active debit cards in Brazil, reaching approximately 27% of the market share on the debit side, according to data from the Central Bank of Brazil.

After just five years as partners, the long-term collaboration with Discover Global Network has brought a competitive advantage to Elo by ensuring global acceptance, instant recognition, access to more technology – and ultimately, by complementing the company’s payments services.

Check out this article for a detailed overview on how Discover Global Network can support domestic networks in expanding their services cross-border.

About Eduardo Chedid

Eduardo Chedid has more than 25 years of experience in the payments industry. During those years he led a variety of teams such as products, emerging technologies, risk and fraud prevention, marketing, strategic planning, M&A and sales. Five years ago he joined Elo as its CEO and helped the Brazilian payment network to reach 14% of market share, becoming the 3rd largest brand in the country. Prior to that he worked for Credicard, Visa and Cielo. Chedid holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

About Elo

Elo is one of the leading Brazilian payment technology companies. Elo has been in the market for nine years and has over 132 million cards issued in partnership with more than 30 issuers. Elo is accepted in 10 million establishments across the country and in over 200 countries and territories as a result of the partnership with Discover Global Network, the global payments brand within Discover Financial Services. Elo is one of the 'Best Companies to Work For in Latin America', according to the 2019 Great Place to Work ranking.

About Discover Global Network 

Discover® Global Network, the global payments brand of Discover Financial Services, processes millions of cardholder transactions each day. With industry expertise, innovative technology and a closed-loop infrastructure, Discover Global Network provides effective, customized solutions that evolve as needs change. Discover Global Network has alliances with 18 payment networks around the world, and is led by three Discover businesses: Discover Network, with millions of retail and cash access locations; PULSE®, one of the leading ATM/debit networks in the US; and Diners Club International®, a global payments network with acceptance in 200 countries and territories. For more information visit DiscoverGlobalNetwork.com 

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Keywords: Elo, Brazil, domestic network, Eduardo Chedid, Discover Global Network
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: Brazil
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