American Express today announced it will add free personal financial management tools to American Express Serve and Bluebird starting this summer. These tools help customers monitor their spending by automatically sorting transactions into categories such as bills, food, fun, shopping and transportation so they can easily track where their money is going. When customers log in to their Serve and Bluebird accounts, they will also be able to create budgets, set spending limits and alerts, as well as set and track financial goals.
“We’re focused on providing comprehensive and affordable options for the nearly 70 million unbanked and underbanked households in America. We are pleased that consumers are finding value in our products, demonstrated by the strong demand we’re seeing for Serve and Bluebird.”
“With these new tools, we’re making it simple for our customers to know where their money is being spent, so they can track and manage their finances easily,” said Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth at American Express. “We’re focused on providing comprehensive and affordable options for the nearly 70 million unbanked and underbanked households in America2. We are pleased that consumers are finding value in our products, demonstrated by the strong demand we’re seeing for Serve and Bluebird.”
Bluebird and Serve Momentum
In the first four months of the year, American Express acquired 2.4 million customers on the Serve Platform, which includes Serve and Bluebird in the U.S. and LianLian in China, with over one million customers acquired in the month of April alone.
For this same period, transaction volume processed on the Serve platform was $1.9 billion, almost tripling from the same period last year and representing an annual run rate of nearly six billion dollars.
Building Positive Financial Behaviors
Bluebird and Serve customers are demonstrating positive financial behaviors by using Direct Deposit to automatically add paychecks or government benefits to their accounts and putting money away for short term savings in a SetAside or Reserve account.
More than forty percent of funds added to Bluebird and Serve came through Direct Deposit year-to-date, which has been consistent since the feature was introduced. Customers are also putting away more than twenty-five percent of the money they add to their primary accounts each month into a linked SetAside or Reserve account. They are transferring money into SetAside or Reserve an average of three times a month, and they are using this money for future purchases like a vacation, big event, or for emergency funds.
American Express Serve Expands Largest Free Cash Reload Network4 and Retail Presence
American Express is adding Family Dollar to its free cash reload network and expanding to 27,500 stores nationwide including CVS/pharmacy, Walmart, and participating 7-ELEVEN locations. By July 2014, American Express Serve customers will be able to add cash for free at registers in Family Dollar stores via Incomm’s Vanilla Reload network.
In addition, American Express Serve will be available for purchase in more than 31,000 retail locations across the country. As of today, consumers can purchase Serve at Safeway and later this summer at OfficeMax and Hyvee stores enabled by the Blackhawk Network, a leading prepaid network. Serve can be found in the prepaid sections at these stores.
Serve Launches ONE VIP Card with Radio One
On June 16, 2014, Serve and Radio One will launch the ONE VIP Card from American Express Serve. ONE VIP is Radio One’s loyalty program featuring entertainment benefits. In addition to offering all of the features and benefits of American Express Serve, the ONE VIP Card will include:
Invitations to meet artists and celebrities through the Radio One ‘Meet and Greet’ experience;
‘Club Access’ to special Radio One VIP areas in night clubs in certain markets; and,
Eligibility for ‘Hot Ticket’ giveaways and offers from Radio One based on location5.
Consumers can register for the ONE VIP Card for free online beginning on June 16.
“We are delighted with the momentum that we are building with our partners, customers and in the overall marketplace,” added Stefan Happ, general manager, U.S. Payment Options at American Express. “Our retail and partner network has grown rapidly over the last nine months, and there’s more to come. We are confident that our Serve and Bluebird products, which now include free and simple to use money management tools, bring greater value and more options to more people, in more places.”