Credit card offers lifetime relationship

Melanie Evans

They swarmed toward the student union. Uniformly clad in black from the aerodynamic sunglasses that covered their eyes to their silver-studded boots, representatives from the DiscoverDebt credit card arrived on campus Friday to introduce University students to their annual spring financing kick-off.
Descending like locusts, more than 100 public relations reps masterfully charged through Coffman’s commuter lounge, outnumbering the sleeping and studying students 2 to 1.
Leaking the pens, shirts and candy bars for their new promotion, the representatives fanned out across the first floor of the Union under the watchful eye of DiscoverDebt’s Director.
With a flourish of black and red, the representatives positioned their tables and T-shirts in front of exits and entrances. Holding their clipboards and pens in hand, teams squared off with eager students.
His back to the bank of windows facing East across Northrop Mall, The Director surveyed his legions as they raised the company banner in the farthest corners of the Union.
“We’re looking to cultivate a life-long bond with our customers,” The Director said. University campuses offer the opportunity for students to test their independence and for credit cards to cultivate these relationships, he said.
The spring kick-off marks the card’s annual promotion: a one-time dip in their annual percentage rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. By signing on to the DebtPlus option, a student could sign over his or her soul for a $250 credit line and a DiscoverDebt pen.
“I’ve never owned a credit card,” said College of Liberal Arts freshman, Cash N. Carry. Approaching a representative, Carry inquired if she could qualify.
“How does it work?” Carry asked a representative, highly interested.
“Do you have a pulse and a co-signer?” The PR officer chirped. “Wonderful. Then sign here.”
The process is a simple one, she explained to Carry as the freshman hastily bypassed the conditions and terms of the agreement written in Greek at the bottom of the page.
A student signs on to DiscoverDebt and is automatically entered in the corporate database. Name, age, address, social security number, height, weight, bank account and immediate family members are recorded for tracking and legal purposes.
“I’m forever indebted to DiscoverDebt for all their assistance,” Carry said, breathlessly listing the numerous places on campus she could now afford thanks to her card.
“The sky’s the limit,” she exclaimed. Pizza shops, vending machines, laundromats, copiers, parking meters. They all take her card.
Though Carry didn’t have a job, she still qualified for the DiscoverDebt’s Money in the Bank Program.
“DiscoverDebt values all its customers, year in and year out,” The Director said. “Nothing beats the convenience of a DiscoverDebt card when you are in a bind,” he assured several anxious students.
Every store on campus accepts a DiscoverDebt card, he added.
There were few shops unwilling to purchase and accommodate the company’s $300 reader — a small scanner that authorizes purchases and records, tracks and analyzes demographic and geographic data.
“They found it uncomfortable to practice business in the University area,” he sighed, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head.
DiscoverDebt’s recent acquisitions make life far more pleasant for the lending giant. By installing readers in dorms and class buildings, DiscoverDebt hopes to track the spending habits of the University to better serve its customers, The Director said.