Credit card company American Express has created a new online service that allows the sending and receiving of funds between people and sellers. The service also offers a special Serve card that can be used in ATMs and at certain retailers.
The Serve service can easily be compared to PayPal. It’s a simple and easy payment exchange system like the one the online financial company offers but there are a number of interesting features that could help make Serve go mainstream:
SubAccounts – Let’s a user create connected account with certain amount of money in it and maximum spending limits. It seems to have been created for parents wanting to manage the funds they give to college students – and also for people who want to provide some cash to cover expenses for informal subcontractors like Babysitters.
Negotiation – The Serve service has an inbuilt Negotiation system to allow buyers and sellers to haggle over the price of a good.
Bank Card – Serve offers an ATM card that acts like a PrePaid card. It can also be used at retailers who accept American Express.
The system also allows for quick donations to charities. In the press release, the company says:
With Serve, consumers can make purchases and person-to-person (P2P) payments online (serve.com), via mobile phones, and at millions of merchants who accept American Express cards. Serve unifies multiple payment options into a single account that can be funded from a bank account, debit, credit or charge card, or by receiving money from another Serve account…
“Serve is a new type of payment platform that isn’t tied to a single card or mobile operating system. It’s a flexible, easy to use platform, which from day one brings tremendous assets to the alternative payments space and gives consumers an option to shop on-line and off-line at millions of merchants who accept American Express,” said Dan Schulman, Group President, Enterprise Growth, American Express
While payments are the focus of the Serve platform, American Express said the cornerstone of the long-term vision for Serve is developing partnerships with commerce, gaming, entertainment and social networking organizations. American Express launched Serve with three partners ‘who will use the platform to deliver relevant offers that drive spend and build loyalty’:
Ticketmaster will offer Serve as a platform for customers to make and collect payments toward ticket purchases from other customers. Concur will utilize Serve as an expense management and reimbursement method for transactions processed via Concur’s small business expense reporting service, Concur Breeze. Flipswap will utilize Serve to issue refunds more quickly to consumers who sell or trade in their old mobile and cell phones for reuse or recycling.