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This Is the Rare Financial Merger That Will Help Working People and Small Business
Opinion
By Opinion
Published 4 weeks ago on
May 27, 2024

Jesse Rojas opines that the Capital One-Discover merger "can deliver substantial benefits to low-income consumers and small businesses." (AP File)

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As an advocate for California farmworkers’ rights, I’m urging support for the Capital One-Discover merger. This alliance can deliver substantial benefits to low-income consumers and small businesses, enhancing financial access and fostering economic empowerment. Let’s champion this merger for a fairer, more inclusive financial landscape.

Jesse Rojas

Opinion

I view the proposed merger between Capital One and Discover through a lens of potential opportunity, particularly for minority communities and small businesses.

While mergers in the corporate world often cause concerns about market consolidation and reduced competition, I believe this particular union has the potential to yield positive outcomes for those who have historically been marginalized in the financial landscape.

Farming is an industry that has a large immigrant workforce and I’ve seen first-hand how workers can be locked out of access to capital. Capital One and Discover have made it their company mission to help people get more access credit which will helps people flourish and spurs economic growth in our community.

Merger Could Enhance Service to Minority Communities

First and foremost, the merger has the capacity to enhance access to financial services for minority communities. Historically, communities of color have faced barriers to accessing credit and financial resources, perpetuating cycles of economic disadvantage.

Capital One is the largest issuer of credit cards to first-time cardholders and offer multiple programs means to help people rebuild their credit. On top of that, Discover was one of the first issuers to offer cards for no annual fee. By combining their resources and networks, Capital One and Discover can extend their reach into these often underserved communities, offering their financial products that have helped many folks without credit or who are rebuilding their credit, get access to the capital they need to thrive.

Additionally, the merger has the potential to bring real competition to the credit card payment network marketplace. The marketplace is currently dominated by Visa and Mastercard who control 80 percent of the market share and have been criticized on both sides of the aisle for their prices. Discover is currently the smallest of the four network companies but with Capital One gaining the opportunity to issue its cards over the Discover market, it can truly compete with the big two. More competition could lead to better products and services at better price points for consumers and merchants. This is particularly impactful for families like the ones I represent.

The relationship between consumers and small businesses is the backbone of our economy. However, many struggle to access affordable credit and navigate the complexities of financial management. As we navigate the complexities of the modern economy, it is crucial to prioritize the needs of those who have historically been marginalized and underserved. The Capital One-Discover merger presents a unique opportunity to bridge the gap and build a more equitable financial future for all.

About the Author

Jesse Rojas is a farmworker rights activist, founder of California Farm Workers & Families, and a Central Valley Taxpayers Association board member. As CEO of The Redd Group, LLC, his organization offers labor relations, human resources consulting, public relations and political consulting.

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GV Wire encourages vigorous debate from people and organizations on local, state, and national issues. Submit your op-ed to bmcewen@gvwire.com for consideration.

 

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