American Express Co. is taking a new route to the financial services consumer-through automated teller machines.

Until now a modest deployer of the machines as a convenience for its travel-and-entertainment cardmembers, American Express has just gone on a shopping spree. With a network approaching 3,000 ATMs, Amex will be competing against banks and others that have been responsible for an explosion of installations at convenience stores, shopping malls, airports, and other public places.

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