American Express today announced its full service reloadable prepaid Account, American Express Serve, will be available for purchase at 4,100 Walmart stores nationwide. These Walmart stores will also become a part of Serve’s free cash reloading network. This means Serve customers can now add cash to their Account for free across 19,500 U.S. Walmart, CVS/pharmacy®, and participating 7-ELEVEN® locations.
To raise awareness for the benefits of American Express Serve, the company is also launching a TV advertising campaign that showcases a selection of personal stories of Americans that are poorly served or excluded from the traditional financial system.
“By offering American Express Serve alongside Bluebird at Walmart, we’re expanding our portfolio of products to meet the needs of more Walmart shoppers,” said Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth at American Express. “Bluebird is a great option for the “unhappily banked” who are looking for a true alternative to the fees and hidden charges often associated with debit and checking. With Serve, our full service reloadable prepaid account, we can now provide the nearly 70 million Americans who are unbanked or underbanked(1) a simple and affordable way to move and manage their money.”
“We’re proud to work with Walmart to expand our free cash reload network and add Serve to the retail aisles of its stores,” added Stefan Happ, general manager, U.S. Payment Options at American Express. “We want to give our customers more options where they already shop.”
Largest Free Cash Reload Network
According to Aite Group, the addition of 4,100 Walmart stores across the U.S. to the American Express Serve and InComm free cash reload network makes it the largest network in the U.S.(2) American Express Serve customers can already add cash to their account for free across 15,400 CVS/pharmacy stores and participating 7-ELEVEN locations.
“Our evaluation of the top nine leading prepaid debit programs showed that American Express Serve now has the largest free cash reload network across 19,500 store locations compared to competitors. American Express Serve is making it even more convenient for consumers to add cash to their accounts so they can use those funds to quickly and easily manage their personal finances,” said Madeline Aufseeser, senior analyst, Aite Group.
Once a customer adds cash to an American Express Serve account at the register, the money is immediately available to spend in store or online where American Express Cards are accepted. Customers can also use these funds to pay bills or transfer money from their balance available for everyday spending into a linked Reserve to set aside money for future purchases like a vacation, big event, or for emergency funds. Customers can add as much as $500 or as little as $20 in cash for free at the register.
American Express Serve Now Available in Walmart Stores
American Express Serve will now be available along with Bluebird by American Express in Walmart stores. Serve, the company’s full service reloadable prepaid Account, will be sold for a purchase price of $1.95 in Walmart, in the prepaid section of checkout lanes and Walmart MoneyCenters. Bluebird by American Express will continue to be available for customers seeking an alternative to a checking or debit account.
For a low $1.00 monthly fee, American Express Serve offers customers the ability to Direct Deposit their paycheck for free, pay bills online for free, add checks to their account using mobile check capture(3), and get free ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 ATMs nationwide(4). The $1 monthly fee is waived if customers use Direct Deposit to add money to their account or add $500 or more to their account during a monthly statement period.
American Express Serve Launches Documentary-Style Advertising Campaign
American Express is leveraging its history of telling customer stories for a new American Express Serve advertising campaign. In partnership with documentary filmmaker, Todd Krolczyk of Arts & Sciences productions, the company will share personal stories of prospective customers in a series of television ads launching today. The stories represent a range of financial situations that make up the millions of Americans who are underserved by our traditional financial system.
The TV ads will first air the week of April 21 and can be viewed at the American Express YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/AmericanExpress. Complementary content as part of an integrated media campaign will appear across Serve channels and includes an in-store radio integration with CVS/pharmacy.
This campaign follows the announcement that American Express is partnering with award-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim on a documentary called Spent: Looking for Change. The documentary will follow a handful of hopeful Americans as they navigate their way through an antiquated financial system that can inhibit, rather than help, people’s ability to access, move and manage money as well as save for the future. Through this film, American Express hopes to spotlight how technology and new thinking can begin to address the issues facing nearly 70 million Americans poorly served or excluded from the mainstream financial system. The trailer, which was released in March, can be viewed at www.spentmovie.com.