Close this search box.

Table of Contents



In finance, “discount” refers to a reduction in price. It can also refer to the difference between the face value of a bond or other debt instrument and its market value when it is sold below its face value. Additionally, it is used in the context of discount rate, which is the interest rate used to determine the present value of future cash flows.


The phonetic transcription of the word “Discount” in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is /ˈdɪskaʊnt/.

Key Takeaways


  1. Discounts are financial reductions or markdowns from the regular price of a product or service. They are generally used as a promotional tool to increase sales.
  2. There are various types of discounts like seasonal discounts, volume discounts, promotional discounts or cash discounts which all serve different purposes. Understanding each can help both businesses and consumers make effective decisions.
  3. Though discounts can attract more customers and stimulate sales in the short term, they might not always be profitable for businesses in the long run because they can reduce the perceived value of products or services.



In business and finance, the term “discount” is crucial as it directly relates to the pricing strategy and profitability of a business. Discounting can be a powerful tool for businesses to attract customers, increase sales volume, and clear out old stock, thus, affecting cash flow positively. It can also improve customer loyalty since customers are more likely to return to a business where they perceive that they are receiving a better deal. However, it’s essential for businesses to carefully manage and balance discounts to ensure they don’t erode profit margins or devalue their products or services. In finance, a discount refers to a reduction in the value or price of a security, such as a bond, which can impact investment strategies and returns significantly. It therefore plays a key role in investment decisions. So, understanding its implications is fundamental in both business operations and financial planning.


In the world of finance and business, discounts serve a crucial role in enhancing sales, encouraging customer loyalty, and clearing out inventory. Essentially, a discount is a markdown in price, a deliberate reduction from the usual price of a product or service. Companies often utilize discounts as a strategic tool for various commercial reasons. For instance, a company might offer discounts to boost sales in a sluggish business environment or to gain a competitive edge in the market. Discounts can stimulate consumer behavior towards specific products and services, promoting a quicker turnover which is particularly vital for goods with close expiry or before introducing new product ranges.Simultarily, discounts can also be viewed as a valuable tool in finance, specifically within the realm of investment and lending. The term discount is often used to describe the process of purchasing a bond that is priced lower than its face value, known as buying at a ‘discount’. This financial tactic allows investors to potentially gain a higher yield upon the bond’s maturity. Moreover, central banks often extend loans to commercial banks at a ‘discount rate’. It assists in managing national fiscal policy by influencing money supply within an economy. Hence, whether in the context of sales or investing, discounting effectively bridges the gap between value and affordability, stimulates demand, and ensures liquidity in the market.


1. Retail Store Sale: One of the most common examples of a discount in the real world is in retail sales. Many times, stores will offer a certain percentage off the original price of a product or service in order to attract customers and stimulate sales. For example, a clothing store might offer a 30% discount on all winter coats to clear out inventory before the spring season.2. Early Payment Discount: In the business world, many companies offer early payment discounts to their customers as an incentive to pay their invoices earlier than the due date. For instance, a company may offer a 2% discount if the invoice is paid within 10 days of issue, even though the full payment isn’t due for 30 days. This helps improve the company’s cash flow.3. Bulk Purchase Discount: Many wholesalers and some retailers offer discounts to customers who buy in large quantities. This type of discount is referred to as a quantity or bulk purchase discount. For instance, a grocery store may offer a discount for buying a case of 12 cans of soup, as opposed to buying them individually.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does the term Discount mean in financial terms?

In finance, a discount refers to a reduction or decrease in the cost of a product, service, or security. It’s often used in reference to the selling price of bonds, stocks, or any other type of security.

How is a discount calculated?

A discount is calculated by subtracting the reduced price from the original price, then dividing by the original price and multiplying by 100 to get a percentage.

What are discounted securities?

Discounted securities are financial instruments such as bonds or bills that are sold for less than their face value. Upon maturity, the full face value will be returned to the investor.

What is a Discount rate?

The discount rate is the interest rate that an eligible depository institution is charged to borrow short-term funds directly from a central bank.

What is a trade discount?

A trade discount is the percentage by which a manufacturer reduces the retail price of a product when it sells to a reseller, rather than to the end customer.

What is a discount factor?

A discount factor is a multiplier used in discounting future cash flows back to their present value.

How does discounting affect the value of money?

Discounting affects the value of money by reducing its worth in the future. This is known as the time value of money concept, which says that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar received in the future.

What is a discount window?

A discount window is a tool provided by central banks that allows commercial banks to borrow money to meet liquidity shortfalls. The interest rate charged is the discount rate.

What is a cash discount?

A cash discount is a reduction in the price of a product or service that is given to the buyer if payment is made within a specified time period.

What does it mean to buy at a discount?

Buying at a discount refers to purchasing a security for less than its par or face value, or below its market value. This could be due to a variety of factors including market movements, investor perceptions or company-specific news.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More