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November 10, 2020

On the web

October 26, 2020

On the wires

American Express and Uber Expand Partnership to Introduce New Offerings for Platinum, Gold & Green Card Members


“American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Uber today announced an exclusive new offer for U.S. Consumer Platinum, Gold and Green Card Members and an Uber Cash benefit for Gold Card Members to bring their next at-home dining experience right to their doorstep and support the local restaurants in their communities. Starting today, U.S. Consumer Platinum, Gold and Green Card Members have access to a complimentary Eats Pass Membership for up to 12 months. Eats Pass is a monthly subscription through Uber Eats that offers unlimited $0 delivery fee and 5% off restaurant orders over $15 and $0 delivery fee on grocery deliveries over $30 in select markets – a value of up to $119. Card Members must enroll by December 31, 2021. Starting early next year, The American Express Gold Card will provide Card Members with up to $120 annually ($10/month) in Uber Cash which can be used on Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. This builds on the Card’s existing benefits which include 4X Membership Rewards at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in eligible purchases per calendar year, 3X Membership Rewards points on eligible airfare, and a $120 (up to $10/month) annual dining credit for spend with select merchants.”

August 17, 2020

On the wires

American Express to Acquire Kabbage

“American Express today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire substantially all of Kabbage, a leading financial technology company providing cash flow management solutions to small businesses in the U.S. The transaction represents an important step toward American Express’ goal of being an essential partner to small businesses through a broad range of payment, cash flow and financial management tools.”

August 14, 2020

On the web

Open banking fintech Yapily partners with American Express

Cards International

“Open banking infrastructure provider Yapily has partnered with American Express to assist in delivering Amex’s payment initiation service across Europe. The service, Pay with Bank Transfer, will use Yapily’s open API to gain bank coverage across selected European markets over the coming months. In addition, the two companies hope the alliance will enable Amex to reach new markets with its open banking product.”

August 11, 2020

On the web

AmEx in Advanced Talks to Buy SoftBank-Backed Kabbage

Bloomberg (paywall)

American Express Co. is in advanced talks to buy the online small-business lender Kabbage Inc., which is backed by investors including SoftBank Group Corp. ’s Vision Fund and Reverence Capital Partners, according to a person familiar with the matter. The all-cash deal could value the closely held lender at as much as $850 million, including retention payments, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. An agreement could be announced as soon as this month, the person said, though talks could still fall apart.”

August 3, 2020

On the wires

American Express and Marriott Bonvoy Introduce Limited-Time Offers Designed to Fuel Local Travel and Experiences

“Today, American Express and Marriott Bonvoy™, Marriott International’s travel program, are announcing rewarding limited-time offers available to the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Cards. As travelers plan to explore locally and take more road trips, these benefits will reward Card Members for purchases at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. In addition to current Card benefits, the enhanced offers will be available from August 3 to October 31, 2020, for eligible Marriott Bonvoy, Brilliant and Business Card Members.”

July 27, 2020

On the web

American Express Pays $955m to Renew Global Partnership With IAG

Cards International

“International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways, has inked a multi-year agreement to extend its global partnership with American Express. Under the agreement, American Express agreed to pay IAG Loyalty nearly £750m ($955m) as the latter grapples with a cash crunch amid Covid-19 pandemic. The agreement involves the pre-purchase of Avios points that American Express will use for its British Airways co-branded cards and rewards programme.”

July 24, 2020

On the web

American Express Reports $1.6 Billion in Provisions for Credit Losses

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“American Express Co. reported a large drop in second-quarter profit from a year earlier as the credit-card company logged provisions of $1.6 billion to cover potential credit losses. That provision rose from $861 million a year earlier and the increase “primarily reflected the deterioration of the global macroeconomic outlook,” American Express said. The company said the Covid-19 pandemic significantly affected results in the quarter. …”

July 14, 2020

On the wires

American Express Launches First Automated Accounts Payable Solution: American Express One AP™

“American Express launched American Express One AP™, the company’s first proprietary automated accounts payable (AP) solution that enables U.S. businesses to process supplier payments more easily and efficiently. The new American Express One AP, which is built on the technology acquired as part of the company’s purchase of acompay™ in 2019, offers complete end-to-end payment processing that supports multiple payment methods, including virtual Card payments, check, and ACH. The solution is designed to work seamlessly with businesses’ existing accounting systems.”

June 29, 2020

On the wires

June 26, 2020

On the wires

More Financial Freedom: SolarisBank and American Express Cooperate for Innovative Installment Product

“For the first time, members of a personal American Express Card in Germany will be able to use an installment option for card payments of EUR 300 or more. This is made possible thanks to a new cooperation with solarisBank. The technology company with a banking license has developed a new installment product “Splitpay”. This new service will go live in a pilot phase in July and will be available to all members of a personal American Express Card in the course of 2020.”

June 17, 2020

On the wires

June 15, 2020

Top Post

American Express Receives Clearance to Begin Processing Local Transactions in Mainland China

“American Express announced today that its joint-venture in mainland China, Express (Hangzhou) Technology Services Company Limited (“Express Company”), has received approval from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) for a network clearing license. With this, American Express becomes the first foreign payments network to be licensed to clear RMB transactions in mainland China. The company expects to begin processing transactions later this year.”

May 28, 2020

On the web

AmEx Shifts Hundreds of Salespeople to Take On Collections Work


“American Express Co. is shifting “hundreds and hundreds” of employees in its sales units to handle collections and other credit work, and plans to set aside more for loan losses this quarter. As the coronavirus pandemic sent unemployment rates soaring, the credit-card company quickly began moving sales workers to credit and collections, Chief Executive Officer Steve Squeri told investors at a virtual conference Thursday. The additional loan-loss reserves will probably be about as large as the $1.7 billion posted in the first quarter, he said.”

April 27, 2020

On the web

Romance Between Credit Cards and Travel Faces Strain

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Credit cards and travel have been intertwined for years. The coronavirus will put the strength of that pairing to the test. American Express on Friday reported a sharp drop in card spending in the travel-and-entertainment, or T&E, category. Weekly average T&E billed business via Amex’s proprietary cards was down almost 95% this year through April 19 versus the same period a year earlier, and remains flatlined.”

March 17, 2020

On the web

January 9, 2020

On the web

AmEx Moves Closer to Entering China’s $27 Trillion Market


American Express Co. cleared a key hurdle in its bid to accessing China’s $27 trillion payments market after the central bank accepted its application to start a bank card clearing business.    The People Bank of China made the announcement on its official Wechat account Wednesday, without giving more details. The decision to accept the application signals that it’s moving closer to final approval.”

November 19, 2019

On the web

October 21, 2019

On the web

AmEx’s Discount Rate Returns to Its Year-Ago Level

Digital Transactions

“Issuer and acquirer American Express Co. said its global third-quarter discount rate—what merchants pay to accept the brand’s credit cards—was 2.39%, a slight increase from 2.38% a year ago. The uptick comes more than a year after AmEx said it would shave its worldwide discount rate in an effort to boost merchant acceptance. The effort, according to the company’s third-quarter results released Friday, bore out, at least for a time, as its fourth-quarter 2018 average discount rate dipped to 2.36%, its lowest point in the past year. AmEx does not divulge its discount revenue or rate by region. Its discount revenue of $6.57 billion increased 6.3% from $6.18 billion a year ago.”

October 17, 2019

On the web

American Express Takes Aim at Rival Brex With New Card Offerings for Startups


American Express Co. is rolling out a new corporate-card program for startups after newcomers like Brex Inc. have had success in grabbing a slice of the market. The cards will be available in coming months, offering full corporate liability without requiring founders to provide a security deposit or personal guarantee, New York-based AmEx said Thursday in a statement. New technology allows AmEx to see a startup’s bank balance to let fledgling firms qualify for cards, said Anna Marrs, president of global commercial services.”

September 23, 2019

On the web

American Express Taps Open Banking for Payment From Account to Account


“American Express will move into account-to-account rooms so that UK consumers can pay for goods and services online and on the move, directly from the bank account. Launched later this year, Pay by Bank Transfer will be a real-time payment option available through Open Banking APIs for current UK bank account holders, regardless of whether they are American Express card members. The move acts as a bulwark against the entry of payment from account to account in the credit card company, and reflects similar recent initiatives by rivals Mastercard and Visa.”

August 1, 2019

On the wires

American Express Expands Suite of Global Business Payment Capabilities Through Acquisition of Acompaytm


“American Express  today announced it signed an agreement to acquire acompaytm, a best-in-class, digital payment automation platform from ACOM Solutions, Inc. , that helps business customers make supplier payments easily and securely, manage business spend, and improve cash flow.“acompaytm will be the newest addition to a series of B2B payment collaborations, strengthening our accounts payable automation capabilities and equipping our customers with the tools they need to improve the way they process and settle supplier payments,” said Anna Marrs, President of Global Commercial Services at American Express.”

July 25, 2019

On the web

American Express to Refund $1.6 Million After Foreign-Exchange Pricing Probe

WSJ (Paywall)

American Express Co.  is terminating foreign-exchange employees and refunding money to nearly 200 customers after it found salespeople misrepresented pricing to customers. The company on Tuesday began mailing out reimbursements totaling about $1.6 million to forex customers, an AmEx spokeswoman said. It also terminated 10 employees in the foreign-exchange international payments department and is retraining 28 others, she said.”

May 2, 2019

On the wires

American Express® Refreshes Blue Cash Preferred® Card

“American Express (NYSE:AXP) is refreshing its popular Blue Cash Preferred® Card with a suite of new valuable benefits to further reward Card Members for their everyday routines. Beginning May 9, 2019, new and existing Blue Cash Preferred Card Members will receive 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% cash back on transit purchases, in addition to the rich 6% Cash Back on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases) and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations that currently come with the Card.”

April 18, 2019

On the web

November 15, 2018

On the wires

American Express Launches American Express GoTM , a New Virtual Payments Offering to Streamline and Simplify Business Expenses for the Changing Workforce

“American Express (NYSE:AXP) today announced the launch of American Express Go, a new digital solution to help mid-sized and large companies efficiently handle business expenses for temporary workers, recruits, and employees without Corporate Cards. American Express Go features a Virtual Card that can be used online or over the phone, and has the option for the virtual numbers to be printed on companion plastic Cards for in-person payments everywhere American Express is accepted.”

November 9, 2018

Top Post

China Gives American Express First Shot At Its Huge Payments Market


“The company said Friday that the Chinese central bank has given it preliminary approval to handle payments in yuan. AmEx (AXP) can now start setting up the payments network through a joint venture with LianLian Group, its Chinese partner. In every other market around the world, AmEx processes transactions through its own network, whose hub is in Phoenix, Arizona. But in China, they have been handled by state-controlled payments giant China UnionPay. Once AmEx has built its own network in China, it will be able to use it to process payments on AmEx branded cards and collect fees on far more transactions.”

On the web

American Express Launches New Business Gold Card With Flexible Repayment Feature

Market Watch

“The Business Gold Card, which has an annual fee of $295, blends elements of both charge cards and credit cards. The card builds on other recent additions to American Express’ slate of products for small businesses, including the Amazon Business American Express Card launched in October. Like a traditional charge card, American Express will not pre-set spending limits for Business Gold Card members, but purchases under $100 must be paid in full by the end of each month.”

October 31, 2018

On the web

Amazon Debuts No-Fee AmEx Card to Lure Small-Business Spending


“The two companies unveiled a new co-branded card for small businesses on Tuesday. Cardholders with an Amazon Prime membership will be able to choose between an interest-free loan for 90 days or 5 percent back on purchases made at Amazon.com, Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services and Whole Foods Market, the companies said in a statement. The no-fee metal card will also offer 2 percent back on purchases at U.S. restaurants and gas stations and on mobile-phone services.”

October 23, 2018

On the wires

Creating a Better Digital Checkout Experience

“To enable such a consistent and user-friendly experience, EMVCo on Oct. 19 released a draft version of the technical specification that outlines how card payments can be processed and data exchanged in an SRC transaction. As a member of EMVCo, American Express is participating in the development of these specifications and plans to adopt them to ensure our card members, merchants and bank partners can benefit from SRC solutions that are expected to go live by mid-2019.”

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