Amex extends its services with digital control
There may not be a financial services product as universal as the current account.
Liz Bergman, vice president of marketing and product management at American Express, told PYMNTS in an interview that the digital age demands checking accounts that go far beyond simple withdrawals and deposits.
The conversation came as American Express launched its first all-digital verification offering for consumers on Tuesday (February 8).
The key to the call, she said, is an annual percentage yield (APY) that is 10 times the current market rate – and now sits at 50 basis points. Amex also joins a growing list of banks offering customers points, long the only domain of credit cards, for using their checking accounts. Account holders will be able to earn reward points on qualifying purchases.
A growing shift to debit cards
Bergman noted that the launch of the digital checking account is a natural extension of Amex’s efforts with consumers, along with other deposit products like savings accounts and certificates of deposit.
Debit remains of course a preferred method of payment. Recent data from PYMNTS shows that, overall, 37% of consumers use debit to pay for their purchases. Plus, as Bergman said, debit is proving particularly popular with Gen Z and millennial consumers — up to 80% of them use debit instead of cash. .
See also: Consumers typically use debit cards to pay in-store, credit online
Bergman noted that the launch comes as consumers continue to embrace digital banking, and Amex has received requests from members to introduce more banking products.
Even as consumers continue to upload more of their daily activities online, they don’t want to compromise, Bergman said, and they’re looking for value in higher returns and rewards. Amex’s current account is an attempt to expand its membership – or, as she put it, “Membership is the platform, and it’s just the next phase of our journey” .
Amex will market digital verification to its existing members first, but the company says the accounts have broad enough appeal to pique the interest of potential new members.
“If you have a credit card with membership rewards points, when you earn membership rewards points on the debit card, all of those points are ‘gathered’ in one place, and with debit, those consumers now have more options for managing their broader financial lives,” Bergman said.