American Express reported fourth-quarter consolidated total revenues net of interest expense rose to $9.1 billion from $8.5 billion a year ago, up 7% (9% when adjusted for foreign currency translations). The revenue increase primarily reflected the previously reported gain of $719 million ($453 million after-tax) on the sale of the company’s investment in Concur Technologies. The increase also reflected a rise in cardholder spending and higher net interest income.
American Express expanded its OptBlue merchant acquiring program that extends U.S. small merchant coverage. There are now 10 participating acquirers in OptBlue, five of which are among the top 10 in the United States. The program was announced at American Express’ Financial Community meeting earlier this year with Vantiv, Global Payments, Heartland Payment Systems, Worldpay, Transfirst and JetPay as the first participants. With OptBlue, participants have the flexibility to provide U.S. small merchants the benefit of a single statement, one settlement process, and one contact for all the major card brands. Participants determine merchant pricing in addition to providing payment processing and servicing. OptBlue will help expand American Express’ U.S. small merchant coverage, providing consumers more payment options at local businesses.
GiftCardLab.com online provider of gift cards acquired 1-800-GIFTCARD.com. GiftCardLab.com was the first company to offer a customized Visa Gift Card and to ship gift cards with a customized greeting card. Now the company is continuing to blaze a trail in the gift card industry by being the first online gift card store to offer local merchants gift cards branded with their own logos and images. Additionally, the convenience of online ordering protects consumers from gift card tampering. Since the gift cards and card numbers are protected, GiftCardLab.com customers know their gift cards will arrive to the recipient untouched and fully loaded with the requested amount of funds.
Time Warner Cable partners American Express to make available its “SignatureHome Premium View” to American Express Cardmembers until the end of 2012. Time Warner Cable customers who sign up for SignatureHome® Premium View with their American Express Card® have exclusive access to a special, first year rate of $199.99 a month, with a savings of up to $300 on the all-inclusive package, which includes premium TV, Internet and Home Phone Service. The Signature View Channel will also feature bonus “extras” such as behind-the-scenes content and extra footage of one-on-one interviews with film directors and actors. “SignatureHome Premium View” customers also have access to a dedicated specialist who is on-call, day or night, should they ever need assistance.
Offer available 5/1/12-12/31/12 to American Express® Cardmembers who (a) are new subscribers to the SignatureHome® Premium View package, and (b) sign up for Time Warner Cable recurring bill pay via any American Express Credit or Charge Card. Additional charges apply for taxes, fees, Directory Assistance, Operator Services and International calls. After first twelve months of SignatureHome Premium View service at $199.99 per month, regular retail rates may apply. Savings claim is based on current SignatureHome Premium View retail rate of $229.99 per month. Tribeca Film On Demand content will be viewable until March 31, 2013. Some services are not available to CableCARD customers. Subject to change without notice. All services may not be available in all areas. Some restrictions apply. All trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.
American Express and Morgan Stanley launched two new co-branded Cards: The Morgan Stanley Credit Card from American Express and The Platinum Card® from American Express exclusively for Morgan Stanley. The new Cards offer exclusive benefits for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney clients with eligible brokerage accounts and access to American Express’ award-winning customer service and Membership Rewards program. The Morgan Stanley Credit Card from American Express rewards members 10,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within 3 months of opening a Card account; offers Additional Cards at no annual fee; 1X Membership Rewards point for all eligible purchases; $0 Introductory offer for first year, then $95 annual fee. Meanwhile, The Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley rewards 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within 3 months of opening; One Additional Card at no annual fee; 1X Membership Rewards point for all eligible purchases; Access to Airport Clubs, $200 Airline Credit, no foreign exchange fees and access to Platinum Card® Concierge; and annual fee of $450.
American Express, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC and Mercedes-Benz USA partnered to introduce two co-brand Cards designed for Mercedes-Benz drivers and enthusiasts. They include the “Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express” and the “Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz.” The Cards combine the Membership Rewards program from American Express and exclusive annual benefits…
Consumers ranked American Express highest in customer satisfaction among credit card companies according to the annual nationwide study by J.D. Power and Associates for the 4th consecutive year. The study places American Express highest in overall satisfaction among 10 of the largest card issuers in the U.S. that were ranked in the study. The J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Credit Card Satisfaction Study looks at Customer Interaction, Billing and Payment Process, Credit Card Terms, Rewards Programs, Benefits and Services, and Problem Resolution. Relationship Care is the overall strategy to deepen customer relationships by providing tailored information and service that reinforces the value of products, and services for individual customers and to resolve inquiries upon first contact and has been the driving force behind a number recently launched servicing capabilities for both customers and our Customer Care Professionals (CCPs).
MasterCard and Univision Communications, the leading media company serving Hispanic America, announced a partnership with popular Mexican singer-songwriter Paty Cantú to deliver priceless experiences and exclusive access to Univision MasterCard Prepaid Card cardholders. Paty is the new face of the Univision MasterCard Prepaid Card, a card product designed to provide Hispanic consumers with access to a relevant and flexible financial tool that meets their everyday payment needs. In addition to learning about the benefits of prepaid cards, cardholders can also follow Paty as she debuts a solo tour in the U.S. to support her new hit album, Afortunadamente No Eres Tú, and can gain exclusive access to concerts, music downloads and more.
American Express has added three new benefits to its Platinum Card, including new international lounge access, the opportunity to zip through International Arrivals at U.S. airports and the elimination of foreign exchange fees. The “Priority Pass Select” allows card members access to more than 600 international airport lounges in more than 100 countries and more than 300 cities worldwide. After enrolling in the program at americanexpress.com/transformtravel, Card members will receive their Priority Pass Select card in the mail and can begin enjoying the relaxing ambience of the lounges that include a variety of benefits such as complimentary refreshments, snacks and internet access.
Cardholders also get $100 Global Entry Credit, which allows approved members expedited clearance and the ability to bypass lines at International Arrivals in major U.S. airports when returning from traveling abroad, and enjoy elimination of Foreign Currency Transaction Fees. This is along with a $200 Airline Fee Credit towards incidental airline fees that are charged on the Card member’s enrolled Platinum Card on their selected airline; a 20% Travel Bonus; and a Fine Hotels & Resorts Program, granting room upgrades (upon availability), daily continental breakfast for two, 4 p.m. late check-out and an additional special amenity worth a minimum of $450 per stay.
Monster.com job matching engine and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide introduced a Small Business Resource Center in collaboration with American Express to better equip small business owners with guidance and cost effective solutions for staffing and managing their enterprises. The Small Business Resource Center on Monster.com includes a wealth of information for small business owners. This information includes Management Best Practices; Marketing and Social Media; and Business Growth. With it, American Express is also offering an incentive program for any small business that opens a Business Gold Rewards Card account from American Express OPEN. If they use it within a month to make a purchase on Monster.com, American Express OPEN will reward its customers with a statement credit up to $350.
VeriFone Systems secure electronic payment solutions and LifeNexus “iChip” and Personal Health Card have forged agreements to provide “iChip” acceptance software on VeriFone payment acceptance solutions. The LifeNexus Personal Health Card is the first multi-purpose electronic health card utilizing the embedded iChip for securely maintaining an individual’s health record and incorporates a payment card option. Making “iChip” acceptance software available on VeriFone systems at pharmacies, hospitals and physician offices makes it easy for consumers to securely exchange their private healthcare information with providers.
Visa has set forth to acquire PlaySpan in its most recent agreements for $190 million in cash, complimenting its 2010 CyberSource acquisition and to further tap the digital and mobile commerce market of nearly $948 billion, globally. Providing a payments platform to handle transactions for digital goods in online games, digital media and social networks, PlaySpan offers a Monetization-as-a-Service platform that allows merchants to monetize their content using a broad suite of payment and commerce-related solutions in fraud and risk management, analytics, merchandizing and global payment connectivity.
Visa’s fiscal 1Q/11 posted 25% year-over-year growth in eCommerce payment volumes globally, a segment in which PlaySpan with having generated an estimated $25 billion in consumer spending globally in 2010.