Following in the footsteps of rival Visa, American Express this morning announced a digital payment and commerce platform dubbed Serve, enabling U.S. consumers to make purchases and person-to-person payments online, via mobile phones and at AmEx’s network of millions of merchants.
Serve integrates a variety of payment options into a single account that can be funded from a bank account, debit, credit or charge card, or by receiving money from another Serve account. The platform is available immediately to anyone in the U.S. and is expected to launch into other international markets over the coming year.
American Express has released mobile applications for iOS and Android. Serve accounts can also be accessed through Facebook.
It won’t stop there, says Dan Schulman, Group President at American Express:
“We intend to quickly evolve the Serve platform by adding new features and functionality as we learn from consumer and merchant experiences.
To encourage a broad cross-section of people to experience the benefits and convenience of Serve, we are working with a range of partners to integrate Serve as a payment method and deliver customized offers, and we will waive most consumer fees for the next six months.”
Indeed, in the first six months Serve will charge no fees to open an account, for P2P transactions, use social network widgets or anything else. After that period, it will cost 2.9% + 30c/per load to put money into Serve accounts (discounted to 0% for cash, debit and ACH) and $2.00 for ATM cash withdrawals.
Interestingly, Serve also offers users the ability to create, manage, and specify sub-accounts for friends, family members or colleagues. Linked to the master account, they allow users to set spending profiles for “everything from children’s allowances to dog walker fees”.
Serve is the result of technology obtained by American Express through the $300 million acquisition of PayPal competitor Revolution Money in early 2010.
American Express is a diversified global financial services company, headquartered in New York City. The company is best known for its credit card, charge card and traveler’s cheque businesses.
PayPal is an online payments and money transfer service that allows you to send money via email, phone, text message or Skype. They offer products to both individuals and businesses alike, including online vendors, auction sites and corporate users. PayPal connects effortlessly to bank accounts and credit cards. PayPal Mobile is one of PayPal’s newest products. It allows you to send payments by text message or by using PayPal’s mobile browser. PayPal created the Gausebeck-Levchin test, which is an implementation...
Visa Inc. operates the world’s largest retail electronic payments network and is one of the most recognized global financial services brands. Visa facilitates global commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses and government entities. We offer a range of branded payment product platforms, which our financial institution clients use to deliver credit, debit, prepaid and commercial programs to their customers. Visa’s global network, VisaNet, delivers value-added processing services, including fraud and risk...