AMEX “Serves” Up Digital Payments

American Express today unveiled Serve, a digital payment
and commerce platform that gives consumers a new way to spend, send and
receive money with services that go beyond the existing global payment
networks. Some interesting points from the press release issued today include the following:

  • With Serve, consumers can make purchases and person-to-person (P2P) payments
    online (, via mobile phones, and at millions of merchants who accept
    American Express cards. Serve unifies multiple 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.
  • Serve accounts can be accessed via Serve
    Apple iOS and Android applications, at and through Facebook. Through
    Serve, American Express aims to expand into new segments of the market that do
    not rely on traditional charge and credit cards to manage their day-to-day
  • Consumers set up an online account at or through a smartphone app.
    Funds can be added from bank accounts, debit cards, credit and charge cards, or
    other Serve accounts. Customers can use those accounts to send and receive money
    to friends, pay bills and make purchases online. Serve bridges online and
    offline commerce – each customer will be issued a Serve reloadable prepaid card
    linked to their Serve account that can be used at any merchant or ATM that
    accepts American Express cards.
  • Serve offers users the ability to easily
    create, manage, and specify sub-accounts for their friends, family members or
    colleagues. Sub-accounts are linked to the master account and allow users to set
    spending profiles for everything from children’s allowances to dog walker fees.
  • Serve is partnering with five major charities – Autism Speaks, Best
    Friends Animal Society, Malaria No More, Save The Children and Stand Up For Kids

    – to enable each organization to raise funds via a donations widget. Widgets can
    be downloaded on and at
    , and shared on other Web sites, including Facebook,
    to encourage donations. Serve will match all contributions via the widget up to
    $100,000 for each charity.
  • In the coming months, Serve will offer selling widgets that give customers the
    ability to sell items through their own social networks.