Since the mid 1800s, American Express has been a major player in global finance and now, it’s gone virtual in a way none of its competition has. The new American Express Serve is a digital, prepaid account designed for those who spend their time – and money – online.
You may recall a few months ago, we reported on a conference call between the media and American Express executives. At that time, CFO Dan Henry announced the first American Express prepaid card, Serve, would soon be the focus of a more assertive advertising campaign, including a heavy emphasis on social networking in an effort to grab a younger age sector. It was a wise move then and even more so now since prepaid cards have become the fastest growing financial products in the industry. Other banks and card companies have been doing the same and even AMEX has raised its own bar by teaming with Wal Mart for yet another new prepaid product.
Dan Schulman, Group President of Enterprise Growth said at a presser,
Serve accounts can be accessed via Serve Apple iOS and Android applications, at Serve.com 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 finances.
The Serve Difference
If you’re wondering what makes the Serve card different, you’re in for some impressive benefits. First, not only can use the Amex Serve anywhere the credit card brand is accepted, but you also enjoy the same features, perks and benefits we’ve come to know and love from this company – including the around the clock customer service, emergency roadside assistance and expedited card replacement if yours is lost or stolen. Those are the traditional offerings, but the Serve card takes it further.
Other benefits include Globe Assist Services, which provides emergency assistance to help replace lost passports and other complications when traveling abroad. As a card member, you’ll enjoy savings on advance tickets with Entertainment Access and 24 hour assistance by an award winning team of customer service representatives. The Purchase Protection protects you when items you buy with your American Express prepaid card. If they’re stolen or damaged, American Express is right there with you until the issues are resolved. This particular perk is applicable for a full three months after your purchase.
So what makes Serve different? Unlike traditional debit card accounts, Serve gives card members the ability to easily create, manage, and specify sub-accounts for their family members – think college students – friends or even their colleagues (no more worrying about paying that co-worker back for lunch). These easy to manage sub-accounts are linked to the master American Express Serve account and allow users to set spending profiles for everything from their little one’s allowances to charities to their best friends accounts if they choose.
Two Ways to Save
Serve gives consumers two very distinct ways of saving on all of their entertainment, shopping, dining, fitness, travel and much more.
Card members can buy the Amex Deals in advance and then have them sent to their mobile phones or they can print them and take them with them as they go about their days. And make no mistake – there are tons of Amex Deals. This isn’t a “one a week” scenario. The sky is truly the limit.
Similar to Deals, the Amex Offers link right to your Serve prepaid card and anytime you make a qualifying purchase, your account is credited. it’s an easy way to find the occasional cash back bonus without having to do anything at all to claim it.
Your Serve prepaid account allows you to make the most of your smartphone app, website or phone. You can do anything at all through any of those avenues, including moving money to and from traditional bank accounts, add money via credit card advances – even if they’re Visa, Discover or American Express credit cards, add money using MoneyPak and the best part – you can send money via text and even Facebook. It’s even applicable with the new Facebook apps that allow you to give gift right from your Facebook page.
American Express is truly leading in security innovation in the financial sector. Keeping your money and your identity secure is top priority for the global company. It offers several layers of protection, including:
- Advanced encryption technology that keeps all of your transactions safe and out of the hands of thieves and hackers.
- You’ll always be required to use your PIN number – online or in person, so you know those transactions are safe.
- The state of the art Multi-Factor Authentication requires the card member to provide an additional layer of information when they log into their American Express accounts.
There’s a great rewards program that includes the option of adding social games developer Zynga credits for all those games you love. FarmVille, Bubble Safari, Lasso, poker and a host of the most popular Facebook games are all part of this great package. Now that Zynga and American Express have partnered, you can expect a number of new offers and initiatives in the coming months. As one spokesperson for Amex said,
This new program is tied directly to the Serve digital wallet and breaks new ground in the prepaid card market by offering rich in-game incentives for everyday spending.
Here’s what you might not know about the Serve prepaid program. It’s working with several well respected to charities. The goal is to help these worth organizations raise money to continue doing good. There are several widgets on the Serve website for these charities, including Autism Speaks, Best Friends Animal Society, Malaria No More, Save The Children and Stand Up For Kids. They’re easily downloaded and added to blogs and websites to encourage these donations. Not only that, but American Express and Serve will match all of the contributions made through those widgets of up to $100,000 per charity, for a total of $500,000.
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