Q&A with Mike Boush, VP, eBusiness, Discover Financial Services

Earlier this week I caught up with Discover’s Mike Boush to talk about his keynote at the upcoming eBusiness Forum, where he’ll explore innovations in eBusiness at Discover. Here’s a snippet of our conversation, and a sneak peak of Mike’s session at the event:

Q: What digital initiative have you undertaken in the last 12 months that you're most excited about?

A: I love what we're doing with partnerships online. It's creating a whole lot of value for customers and, frankly, getting us out of the "must be built at Discover" mentality. It started with an integration with PayPal in order to deliver peer-to-peer payment services. The program leverages PayPal’s huge delivery platform, and customers love it. Then we introduced an integration with Amazon that lets customers pay for their Amazon.com purchases with the cash they earned through our Cashback Bonus rewards program. This really highlights the difference between competitors' "points" programs and our straightforward cash, and the transparency shows just how great our program is. And recently, Google announced our integration of Discover card enrollment into the Google Wallet from our website, which is convenient for customers and helps position us in the mobile payments space. These integrations are just a sample of what we've done, but they become powerful illustration of what we can do when we team up and innovate with other great companies. 

Q: What gets in the way of delivering the right experience to your customers?

A: Long big-company-technology-development cycles X speed of change in consumer tech = some cardmembers who are at the early part of the curve waiting for us to catch up. For example, we're always building things to be backward compatible with older installed browsers and mobile operating systems, while at the same time taking advantage of the newest versions. It's an endless cycle and constant challenge that is unique to digital customer experience managers. Clearly, other channels are not as affected by this challenge. When's the last time a new phone technology jeopardized customer service delivery via voice? The 70s?   

Q: What is the most exciting development or trend that you currently see in eBusiness?  

A: Mobile is changing everything: How merchants interact with customers, what customers expect from merchants, etc.  We need to go back to the way we think about almost everything in customer interaction and re-imagine it with instant access anywhere, with complex event processing using real-time data. We're sitting in front of a decade of new opportunities for thought leadership and discovery in operations management, marketing strategies, risk management, and user experience. It's certainly an exciting time to be in this space, at Discover, at the forefront of mobile technology. 

Hear more from Mike at the eBusiness Forum next week, October 25-26 in Chicago.

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