What a difference three months can make. Back in January, TD AMERITRADE (NASDAQ:AMTD) blew past Wall Street's profit targets, while Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCH) simply met expectations. But this morning, AMERITRADE came up short in its fiscal second-quarter report, while Schwab nailed the landing.

The leading discount broker saw earnings per share inch 16% higher to $0.22, while net revenues climbed 9% to hit $1.15 billion. That's exactly what the market expected on the top and bottom lines, but the report came an hour after AMERITRADE missed on both fronts.

Yes, Schwab also suffered a slowdown in trading activity. To its credit, like E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC), Schwab is heading toward more reliable revenue streams to help offset the fickle ways of traders.

Schwab will never lose sight of its trading stronghold. The company has 6.8 million brokerage accounts, and it was blessed to see net account growth in each of the past five months. However, the company now watches over 1.1 million corporate retirement-plan accounts, as well as 151,000 banking accounts. In sum, Schwab's accounts are now loaded with $1.3 trillion in assets.

While 151,000 banking accounts won't make Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), or Wachovia (NYSE:WB) lose any sleep, discounters are starting to get aggressive with their marketing. E*Trade is especially hitting a nerve, promoting the high yield of its checking account relative to the pittance paid by conventional banks.

Is more banking in Schwab's future? If trading activity remains relatively moribund, you can bank on it.

Charles Schwab is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. A free trial subscription is waiting with your name on it if you want to learn more. Bank of America is an Income Investor recommendation.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been trading exclusively through discount brokers since 1990 but he does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.