In anticipation of the launch of Foursquare's 3.0 platform, the company has partnered with American Express in a move that signals the future of mobile payments.

American Express and Foursquare will kick off their partnership at SXSW this week – allowing American Express card members to link their account information to their Foursquare profile. Beginning with 60 merchants in Austin, AmEx card members and Foursquare users will receive special location-based offers from merchants by using their AmEx cards. At first, the offers will be mostly of the ‘spend $5, save $5' variety, with the opportunity for more targeted offers as the partnership gains scale. Of course, you must first link your AmEx – then check in places through Foursquare, before you start receiving AmEx-exclusive offers. Check-in will have to be done via Foursquare, as swiping or using your AmEx card will not automatically check you in. Foursquare integration with your AmEx card may be in a future roll-out, but is not part of the current partnership (as that will likely require different technology across the card member base).

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