Just when you thought American Express had made its one and only debut into the prepaid market with its Wal Mart co-branded BlueBird card, it announces it will offer a new prepaid card, this time, it’s Serve Card. It’s designed to be incredibly social, too, with rewards of game credits on users’ favorite Facebook apps. Of course, that’s just an option and there are a host of other reasons why this is a formidable force in the prepaid market – some of which we’ll look at today. The question is, will there be room for a new prepaid card? At the rate in which this particular sector is growing, it would appear the only way for those offering debit cards is up.
The first thing consumers ask is how it’s different from BlueBird. As mentioned, BlueBird is a co-branded effort between American Express and Wal Mart. It too offers a lot of great perks and benefits, especially considering it’s a prepaid product. The fees are impressively low with both cards and both offer the same protections Amex has built its reputation on. It could be, though, that Serve is geared a bit more towards the younger generation in that it offers up great ways to take advantage of all of the online games and features. It’s more technologically advanced.
Serve has a powerful platform that bodes well for those who spend considerable time online. The app is absolutely beautiful and easy to navigate. Moving funds around is a breeze, too. It offers an easy way to pay back friends or for them to pay you back for last week’s lunch you covered. It’s also good for group events, too. It provides users instant access around the clock and the Serve card is easily used anywhere American Express is accepted.
When you download the app, you can send and receive money, add funds from a credit card or bank account directly to your Serve card, manage your account in its entirety and, of course, use it for buying different online credits.
The technology is fluid and the safety is the best we’ve seen in the industry. Your transactions and personal information are always secure and American Express is known for its advanced encryption technology, confidential PINs, and multi-factor authentication to keep its card members and their transactions safe.
Serve is also designed to be interactive with your friends who have a Serve card. The features that are built into the prepaid card just feel different. Some say it’s designed to market to a younger sector and perhaps it is, but there’s no reason why anyone won’t find a host of perks and benefits with this offer.
Serve Deals are delivered right to your smartphone if you wish and the technology makes it easy to conduct business using your Serve card or the smartphone you have linked to your account. It’s little wonder, then, that prepaid debit cards are the fastest growing products in the financial sector.
During a recent presser, Dan Schulman, Group President of Enterprise Growth explained that,
Serve accounts can be accessed via Serve Apple iOS and Android applications, at Serve.com and through Facebook…American Express aims to expand into new segments of the market that do not rely on traditional charge and credit cards to manage their day-to-day finances.
As we mentioned, there are some new, technologically advanced benefits, including Globe Assist Services, which has been a lifesaver for many Amex members who find themselves in need of emergency assistance. Members have come to rely on American Express to help replace lost passports and lost cards when traveling abroad. Members also enjoy great savings on things like concerts, Broadway shows, movies or holiday shopping. Serve users will find purchase protection a bonus if they buy something and it arrives damaged or never reaches the member. Not only that, but this protection stays in place a full ninety days after purchase.
There’s also another interesting dynamic that’s built into the Serve platform. Members can have sub-accounts with the same American Express account serving as the foundation. Moms can set up sub accounts for their kids or meeting attendees can pay their attendance fees to a specific account that’s set up to hit an American Express sub account.
Did you know that Serve and American Express has teamed up with at least five charities? The goal is to help these organizations raise both money and awareness to continue doing their good works. The widgets include Autism Speaks, Best Friends Animal Society, Malaria No More, Save The Children and Stand Up For Kids. They’re easily downloaded and added to blogs and websites to encourage these donations. Not only that, but American Express and Serve will match all of the contributions made through those widgets of up to $100,000 per charity, for a total of $500,000.
Ways of Saving
There’s also another nice way to save when you use your Serve card.
The Amex Deals are packages of credits members can purchase in advance and then have them sent to their mobile phones. They can also opt to print them out and use them as they wish. There are many deals available and the list continues to grow – just as the popularity of the product grows.
Meanwhile, the Amex Offers link right to the member’s Serve prepaid card. It works by crediting the account any time a qualifying purchase is made on the Serve card. It’s the ideal way of discovering savings opportunities you would have otherwise missed. Card members don’t have to do anything to claim them, either.
Serve is really designed around the user’s smartphone. It makes the most of the available technology, but you can seamlessly cover all of your bases in any way you choose. Plus, you can add funds from any of your other traditional credit cards, even if it’s Visa, Mastercard or Discover. Have you noticed the new gift giving feature on Facebook? You can give birthday, Christmas or graduation gifts right from your friend’s Facebook page.
Finally, we take a look at a few of the rewards. Again, it’s all about the freedom of technology. You can easily add your favorite social networking games like Farmville and Bubble Safari and then use your credits right from your Serve card. Amex has partnered with Zynga, the Facebook games platform, to keep players moving along in their games. One spokesperson for Amex describes it this way,
This new program is tied directly to the Serve digital wallet and breaks new ground in the prepaid card market by offering rich in-game incentives for everyday spending.
These are just a few of the many reasons why the American Express Serve prepaid card is worth consideration. Anytime the competition is watching closely, you know it’s bound to be a strong offering. Be sure to read the terms and conditions associated with this product, but bottom line, the lower fees, the many perks and benefits, the safety and the charitable works make this a solid choice for consumers around the country.
Have you received your Serve card? If so, share with our readers your experiences so far. We want to hear your reviews. Drop us a note in the comments or join the conversation on Facebook.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express®.
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