UPDATE 3-Discover Financial profit beats as card use rises
News from Reuters:

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:29pm EDT

* Third quarter EPS $ 1.21 vs estimated $ 1.03

* Total loans up 9 percent

* Transaction volume up 13 percent

* Shares close up 7.3 percent

Sept 27 (Reuters) – Discover Financial Services’ shares rose more than 7 percent after its third-quarter profit handily beat Wall Street estimates as more Americans used its credit cards, adding to signs of improving consumer sentiment.

Consumer confidence in the United States jumped to its highest level in seven months in September, a private sector report showed earlier this week.

Discover Financial said credit card loans rose 4 percent to $ 48.1 billion in its fiscal third quarter ended Aug. 31, on top of a similar rise in card sales volumes.

“Card sales and receivables grew in a challenging environment while credit quality continued to improve,” Chief Executive David Nelms said in a statement.

The strongest sales growth came in August, the last month of…………… continues on Reuters

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Related News:

CTA, Pace will share new fare card, beginning next summer
News from Chicago Tribune:

Starting next summer CTA and Pace riders will have the option to pay fares with credit and debit cards as well as a new smart card system called Ventra, transit officials announced Thursday.

The new Ventra cards and tickets will be used for single-ride and 1-day passes.

CTA and Pace riders will also have the option to use personal debit and credit cards equipped with a microchip.

The process is intended to be more convenient and speed up boarding, particularly on buses.

Passengers will tap their contactless payment card against the fare reader. It’s similar to the CTA Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus smart cards that have been in use for years.

In 2014, all CTA and Pace fare media, including the Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus, will be replaced with Ventra.

Customers will eventually be able to use mobile phones to pay transit fares.

The CTA and the Regional Transportation Authority are leading an effort to create an open fare system in which bank-issued cards and universal transit cards will be accepted on CTA, Pace and Metra.

The RTA system faces a 2015 deadline to fully implement an integrated fare system. Part of the challenge is including Metra, which is slowly modernizing its antiquated fare-collection system that still involves conductors punching paper tickets and passes.

In addition, Metra…………… continues on Chicago Tribune

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