Amex to Merge Prepaid Cards with Digital Wallet

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American Express Co. will release an updated version of its digital wallet Serve that will include all of its prepaid products, as well as incorporate deals and loyalty rewards.

Amex launched its Serve stored-value account last year as a way to attract customers that normally would not qualify for its credit cards. Serve is meant to function as a digital wallet, though it can be used at the point of sale with an attached debit card.

Separately, Amex launched a prepaid card that has almost no fees.

When Serve is updated, all Amex prepaid card users will use the Serve platform, said Dan Schulman, Amex's group president of enterprise growth, at the Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Cards, Payments and Financial Technology Symposium in New York on Thursday.

"We will turn our platform from a digital payments platform to a digital payments and commerce platform," he said.

Amex will also allow users to make purchases from a mobile ecommerce site using a PIN in place of a longer card number.

In an interview with American Banker, Schulman said that there will be multiple alternative ways for users to authenticate their transactions. "We have a plan in place," he says.

After the loyalty program is live, "we will round out the platform with money management tools," he says.

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