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caGALINDO Mar 28, 11 6:18 pm

Serve - Another Paypal/Amazon Payments.

The big Q, will these count as cash advance? Also I read all fees are waived for the first 6 mos. of the service.

American Express Announces Serve(SM), the Next Generation Digital Payment PlatformServe Offers Person-to-Person, Online, Mobile, and Traditional Card Capabilities in a Single Account

NEW YORK, March 28, 2011 --

American Express today unveiled Serve(SM), 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.

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 is an easy-to-use, digital alternative aimed at consumers who currently rely on cash, check and debit card. 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 finances.

“Serve is a new type of payment platform that isn’t tied to a single card or mobile operating system. It’s a flexible, easy to use platform, which from day one brings tremendous assets to the alternative payments space and gives consumers an option to shop on-line and off-line at millions of merchants who accept American Express,” said Dan Schulman, Group President, Enterprise Growth, 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,” said Mr. Schulman.

How it works

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.

Unlike traditional debit card accounts, 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.

The Serve platform evolved from technology obtained through the acquisition of Revolution Money in early 2010.

Serve is available immediately to anyone in the U.S. and is expected to launch into other international markets over the coming year. American Express will continue to evolve the features and functionality of Serve based on market feedback. To gain consumer and merchant insights about Serve and to help shape upcoming releases, a marketing pilot will also be conducted in Eugene, Oregon.


While payments are the foundation of the Serve platform, American Express is also announcing a number of partners who will use the platform to deliver relevant offers that drive spend and build loyalty. Three of the first partners are Ticketmaster®, Concur® and Flipswap.

“A cornerstone of the long-term vision for Serve is developing partnerships with commerce, gaming, entertainment, and social networking organizations,” said Mr. Schulman. Partnerships, with players such as Ticketmaster, Concur and Flipswap will introduce Serve to new customers and help build scale. These companies have loyal communities of customers, and we are thrilled to partner with them as we grow and expand Serve's reach.”

Ticketmaster will offer Serve as a platform for customers to make and collect payments toward ticket purchases from other customers. Concur will utilize Serve as an expense management and reimbursement method for transactions processed via Concur’s small business expense reporting service, Concur Breeze. Flipswap will utilize Serve to issue refunds more quickly to consumers who sell or trade in their old mobile and cell phones for reuse or recycling.

Details around these and a number of additional partnerships will be announced over the coming months.

Giving Back Widget

Serve is also 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.

Highly Competitive Fees Waived for Launch
Serve consumer fees will be highly competitive. There are only two fees for consumers and we are waiving the fee to put money into the Serve account for the next six (6) months.

The two fees are:

Putting money into a Serve account: 2.9% + 30c/per load, discounted to 0% for cash, debit and ACH.
ATM cash withdrawal (after first one each month free): $2.00

Unlike some other products in the market, Serve has no fees to open an account, no monthly fees, no fees for P2P transactions, no fees to set up sub-accounts (up to four accounts) and no fees to use the widgets.

Merchants who accept American Express cards will pay a prepaid discount rate for transactions made both in stores and online with a Serve prepaid card.

Investor Conference Call – Live Audio Webcast

A conference call with members of the investment community will be held today March 28, 2011, at 11:00 am EDT. The call will be hosted by Dan Schulman, Group President, Enterprise Growth, American Express.

Live audio of the conference call will be accessible to the general public at A replay of the conference call will also be available at the same Web site address.

About Serve

Serve, by American Express, is a next generation payment platform designed to deliver emerging payments and services to address the changing ways consumers interact and exchange money -- with one another -- as well as merchants. Learn more at and connect with us on and

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on, and

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contain words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “optimistic,” “intend,” “plan,” “aim,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “likely,” and similar expressions. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, the following:

the willingness of consumers to use the Serve product, and in particular consumers that do not traditionally rely on charge and credit cards to manage their day-to-day finances, which will depend in part on their willingness to try the Serve product instead of competing payment products and their satisfaction with the operability, fee structure and other features of the Serve product;

the ability of the Company to add new features and functionality and ease of use to the Serve platform on an accelerated basis that reflect the needs and desires of consumers, merchants and other participants in the payments space, which will depend in part on the Company's ability to retrieve and effectively assess information from users and other parties on a real-time basis and then make the right judgments in how to build-out the existing Serve platform;

the success of the Company in developing relationships with partners, both in and outside the U.S., who will effectively integrate Serve as a payment method for their customers, which will be critical in facilitating the Company's ability to expand the scope and number of Serve users; and

technology trends that will impact the environment within which Serve operates and influence how the Serve product will have to evolve to remain compatible and competitive.
A further description of these uncertainties and other risks can be found in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, under Item 1A. Risk Factors and Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements, and the Company’s other reports filed with the SEC.

xp0 Mar 28, 11 6:27 pm

Interesting .... Let the games begin.

grlmopz Mar 28, 11 8:09 pm

Up to $2500 per month (better than AP), but there's a $100 per day via credit cards (not in the Terms and Conditions, but true.)

xp0 Mar 28, 11 8:24 pm

That is kind of a let down...

swag Mar 28, 11 8:30 pm

Originally Posted by grlmopz (Post 16118988)
Up to $2500 per month (better than AP), but there's a $100 per day via credit cards (not in the Terms and Conditions, but true.)

Originally Posted by xp0 (Post 16119060)
That is kind of a let down...

$2500/month for 6 months is still $15K.

Reminds me a little of c2it, anyone else remember that one?

filelover Mar 28, 11 8:37 pm

I remember c2it and a couple other payment services like that (western union had one). Made well over
a million miles on those before they shut that down

jim5518 Mar 28, 11 9:08 pm

This is also on Fatwallet so probably won`t be long before it`s abused.

johndoe123 Mar 28, 11 11:06 pm

So who's going to be the brave one who will try loading your account and sending money to other people on various cards to see what posts as a cash advance and what as a purchase?

I'll start:
CO Onepass plus mastercard -- Loaded $10 and it did not take away (yet) from the cash advance limit but deducted $10 from the credit limit. Did not send the money to anyone yet.

Who knows though as it's still "pending".

On another note, this sure beats buying debit cards (American express "pass" program) or any other "allowance" system.

Astrophsx Mar 29, 11 4:43 am

Originally Posted by jim5518 (Post 16119251)
This is also on Fatwallet so probably won`t be long before it`s abused.

How many people have their money frozen in their Xipwire accounts on fatwallet? The risks of doing some of these programs.

xp0 Mar 29, 11 5:21 am

This is at least from Amex though.... Who was backing Xipwire? The likelihood of this succeeding, or at least not going away in a week, is a lot greater ... But you are right, I would always proceed with caution utilizing things like this...

GD101 Mar 29, 11 7:52 am

Only in the US of A. As always. :(

QL_714 Mar 29, 11 7:52 am

Originally Posted by jim5518 (Post 16119251)
This is also on Fatwallet so probably won`t be long before it`s abused.

At least with FWF you can talk some sense in the noobs heads. Here it is a different story but since there is no referral I guess we won’t have to worry about certain noob’s!!!

JudyJFLA Mar 29, 11 8:22 am

2.9%+ is too rich for my blood, even with the 5.6% I am making from buying the gift cards!!

4Health Mar 29, 11 9:49 am

Originally Posted by JudyJFLA (Post 16121478)
2.9%+ is too rich for my blood, even with the 5.6% I am making from buying the gift cards!!

Which CB service are you using to get 5.6% back on gift cards? And what merchant are you using to buy the GC via that CB service? Thanks.

fangtl Mar 29, 11 10:00 am

Just sent $21 via AMEX to a friend and the transaction was cancelled within minutes.

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