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American Express, Sprint heighten mcommerce presence via mobile wallet initiative

American Express and Sprint have teamed up to offer a mobile wallet application that was designed to change the way consumers interact and exchange money.

Via the deal, Sprint customers will be able to access Serve, American Express’ digital payments platform. Serve marks the first relationship with a mobile carrier since its launch in March.

“Building partnerships with mobile carriers is key in our effort to build scale,” said David Messenger, executive vice president of enterprise growth at American Express.

“Recent projections speculate that 1 in 2 people in the U.S. will own a smart phone by the end of 2011,” he said.

“Technologies like Serve that increase the mobility of money and customize the user’s experience will be imperative for carriers to integrate into their products moving forward as they look to attract new customers and become part of a complete user experience.

“The announcement is part of a larger industry trend – a move from cash to mobile payments.”

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users.

Mobile wallet
Serve’s mobile wallet will be made available in the Sprint Zone, which is integrated on all Sprint Android-powered smartphones.

The mobile wallet provides consumers with a one-click check-out service for bill payments and mobile purchases.

Additionally, Sprint customers with these devices can find Sprint Zone, which also provides Sprint account information, recommends apps and more, as an icon on their Sprint handset.

“American Express and Sprint will make an additional announcement upon launch of the program to inform Sprint customers of Serve’s mobile wallet availability in the Sprint Zone,” Mr. Messenger said.

Payment service
American Express’ Serve is a digital payment platform that unifies online, offline and mobile payment options into a single account.

The service can be funded from a bank account, debit, credit or charge card, or by receiving money from another Serve account.

In addition, Sprint customers who register and qualify for a Serve account will be able to use their Serve card for making purchases at American Express participating merchants, paying their Sprint mobile bill, and in the future, for redeeming offers on goods and services.

“Both American Express and Sprint have a commitment to continuously striving to bring their customers the best solutions and services,” Mr. Messenger said.

“Sprint Zone is a free application that makes it easy for Sprint customers to pay bills, manage their account and check voice and data usage right from their device,” he said.

“Serve will be integrated directly into this application so people can make mobile bill payments and other purchases within the Sprint Zone and partner app stores.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York