Bloomberg News

AmEx to Let Consumers Make Purchases on Verizon Wireless

August 01, 2011

(Updates with Facebook deal in fifth paragraph, share price in last.)

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- American Express Co. said it will let consumers make purchases on Verizon Wireless devices as the lender competes for mobile payments with rivals including Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and EBay Inc.’s PayPal.

AmEx, the biggest credit-card issuer by purchases, will integrate its Serve mobile-payments system into many of Verizon’s phones and tablets, the New York-based bank said today in a statement.

The deal with Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless carrier, is the biggest for Serve since a March rollout led by Dan Schulman, the group president of enterprise growth who joined AmEx last year from Sprint Nextel Corp. AmEx struck its first mobile-carrier deal for Serve last month with Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas.

“Our collaboration with Verizon highlights the speed at which Serve is evolving to reach a wide audience,” Schulman said in the statement.

Last month, AmEx announced that it will deliver customized discounts and offers to cardholders who allow the lender to mine their Facebook relationships and online interests. The agreement with Facebook Inc. may help the social network capitalize on the fast-growing market for daily online coupons made popular by sites such as LivingSocial and Groupon Inc.

Greg Haller, president of enterprise and government at Verizon Wireless, said Serve will complement another mobile- payment option through the Isis network, a venture of Verizon, AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA.

Verizon Wireless, based in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, is owned by Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group Plc. T- Mobile is a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG.

American Express fell 43 cents, to $49.61 at 10:08 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had gained 17 percent this year through yesterday, the second-best performance in the Dow Jones Industrial Average after International Business Machines Corp.

--With assistance from Lindsey Rupp in New York. Editors: Steve Dickson, William Ahearn

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Eichenbaum in New York at peichenbaum@bloomberg.net; Lindsey Rupp in New York at lrupp1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net


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