Home A Challenge to PayPal? American Express Launches Digital Payments

A Challenge to PayPal? American Express Launches Digital Payments

Less than two weeks after Visa’s announcement that it was launching its own peer-to-peer digital payment system, American Express is getting in on the game as well. The credit card company today unveiled Serve, its new digital payment and commerce platform.

Users will be able to send or receive money from their Serve accounts, which can be funded by a bank account, debit or credit card, or by money from another Serve account. With the new AmEx digital payment system, consumers will be able to make payments via the Serve website, via their mobile phones, and with merchants who accept American Express cards. Accounts will be accessible via Android and iPhone apps and through Facebook.

The aim, says the charge card company, is to expand into new segments of the market that do not rely on credit cards or cash.

According to American Express’ Dan Schulman, “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.”

Wooing Customers Away from PayPal

The lack of fees might be a good way to lure new customers, but AmEx says those fees won’t be high after that initial six month period. Customers will be charged for putting money into their Serve accounts – 2/9% plus a $0.30 per load – and will be charged for ATM cash withdrawals – $2 after one free withdrawal per month.

The move of both Visa and American Express to start offering these P2P online payments is a clear indication that credit card companies are recognizing that online payments are reshaping financial transactions. As both of these giants gun for what has long been PayPal’s market, it will be interesting to watch if the competition makes things better for consumers, who will now have more choices in how they can send and receive money online.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.