American Express Innovates – Payments go Social

American Express is experimenting with Twitter as a payments (and loyalty) channel. The company has been rather quieter than its rivals, who have been associated with giant experiments such as ISIS, but they are busy innovating.

An article from BillingViews’ friend Jonathan Jensen caught my eye, as he tracked his shopping trip, evaluating how mobile friendly various stores were. Being Jonathan, his first stop was Starbucks, where he paid for a coffee with the Passbook based Starbucks Card, which, combined with a Foursquare check-in, gave him £5 cashback on his American Express account. As Jensen (@sevendotzero) points out, it was “nice example of combining social and payments.”

Coincidently, I saw an article describing American Express’s experiment with Twitter. A small selection of stores are involved – Amazon, Sony and Mirosoft Xbox 360) and by linking your American Express card with your Twitter account you a) receive a credit and b) can buy stuff using hashtags and then retweeting an automated response from American Express.

I think this innovation is fascinating and worth tracking because it makes the whole shopping experience the focus. This releases us from the narrow focus of payments, the cul-de-sac down which we are in danger of pushing NFC. Innovation is not dead and the convergence of social and shopping and therefore loyalty and payments is one to watch, not just because Twitter has some outstanding messaging advantages.

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About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.

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