A couple of announcements from
American Express Company
) are making news currently, as the company remains focused to
deliver superior customer service. Earlier this week, American
Express Serve, the full-service reloadable prepaid access account
of AXP, launched a free nationwide cash load network and
partnered with Learn Vest. At the same time, American Express
also allied with global travel site TripAdvisor. However, neither
news failed to shore up share price on Oct 9, 2013 owing to
broader market conditions.
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In its introduction of the free cash load network, American
Express incorporated new features like Direct Deposit, Bill Pay,
Mobile Check Capture, Personal Financial Management Tools, and
Reserve. The new features have been included keeping in mind the
customers' needs for a hassle-free alternative to traditional
banking. Currently it has been found that 10% of the prepaid card
users reload their cards about 5 times per month on an average.
Using the new network, customers will be able to save in a range
of around $72 to $240 per year. The new network therefore holds
promise of less worry for future expenses, for scheme holders.
American Express will provide this service charging $1 per month
from Dec 3, 2013 onwards. This fee being much lower than the
average monthly fee that prepaid card companies charge normally,
is expected to attract more customers and thereby pull up
revenues for the company.
Additionally, American Express' alliance with Learn Vest and
introduction of Reserve - an account for storing money for
upcoming expenses is expected to help the company further enhance
its services on Serve. American Express also declared that
American Express Serve will now be available online at select
stores of CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of
CVS Caremark Corporation
), Family Dollar Stores,
Office Depot Inc.
) and Duane Reade. We expect this large scale availability to
boost American Express' customer service efforts and hence help
it to gain more customers.
Towards attracting more customers, American Express' efforts are
also visible in its partnership venture with TripAdvisors. The
partnership is aimed to allow card members from the U.S., U.K.
and Australia to post reviews, navigate hotspot lists and avail
attractive travel offers on their TripAdvisor profiles. Customers
will be able to access the TripAdvisor profiles by connecting
their American Express Cards to the TripAdvisor site. Thus, by
providing a huge range of benefits through the partnership,
American Express will be able to attract frequent travelers which
should amount to escalating top line going forward.
While introduction of the cash load network is an approach to
make money management more convenient, the partnership with
TripAdvisor is a blend of technology, data, community and
commerce to make travel more attractive through the use of
American Express cards. Overall, both the transactions represent
American Express' focused strategies towards enhancing customer
satisfaction and thereby gain on card membership. We expect the
endeavors to bode well for the company's long term growth.
American Express currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).