Discover and Arab Financial Services (AFS) have entered into a strategic network alliance agreement to bolster global acceptance footprint.

The deal will initially enable Discover, Diners Club International and network alliance cardholders use their cards on AFS Android-based point-of-sale (POS) terminals across Bahrain.

Such POS terminals are equipped to accept contactless card payments.

Additionally, the deal also provides AFS banks with the capabilities to issue credit cards with access to the Discover Global Network. This will enable the cardholders conduct transactions with more than 50 million merchants on Discover network globally.

Overall, the Discover Global Network includes Discover Network, Diners Club International, PULSE and around 20 alliance partner networks.

Discover international markets vice-president Matt Sloan said: “This agreement ensures we can provide regional issuers with access to the Bahrain market, while creating mutually beneficial growth opportunities for Discover and AFS.

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“By connecting with innovative payment partners like AFS, we are able to provide our cardholders with the global reach and localisation they require.”

AFS is a payment solutions provider and fintech enabler in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region. The entity is owned by 37 banks and financial institutions.

It has 75 clients across more than 20 countries.

AFS CEO Samer Soliman said: “By entering into this network alliance agreement with Discover, we have successfully expanded on the wide range of convenient payment options available through AFS state-of-the-art POS acceptance systems.

“AFS market-leading POS technology enhances the experience for all customers, giving them smart, secure, and convenient payments acceptance platforms with a variety of benefits and value-added services.

“With this agreement, customers can now use their Discover, Diners Club International or partner alliance cards, including but not limited to India’s RuPay, and Turkey’s Troy, for seamless payments at AFS POS terminals.”

Earlier this month, Flywire partnered with Discover to support educational payments worldwide.