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American Express aims to simplify mobile payments with express checkout

American Express seeks to bring even more convenience to mobile payments with its Amex Express Checkout system that allows its millions of members to automatically make online purchases via a platform that needs only their existing login information.

Amex Express Checkout lets members with accounts quickly make online purchases using their American Express logins, differentiating itself from Google Wallet and Master Pass, which require customers to create a new login and link up credit cards. The Amex service points to an effort to satisfy consumers’ mobile-accelerated demands for easier-to-manage processes in important financial matters.

“We know there are challenges for consumers and merchants when it comes to online checkout – especially on mobile devices – and that a quick, easy check out often drives purchasing decisions,” said Dave Wolf, vice president for global product and business development for American Express, New York. “We also know our card members love online shopping and are increasingly shopping from their mobile devices.

“What we created with Amex Express Checkout puts a seamless checkout experience at the most critical part of the checkout journey on the merchant site, and provides the fastest and most simple checkout experience in the marketplace,” he said. “Also, Amex Express Checkout can be easily integrated into any stage of a merchant’s existing customer checkout journey on desktop, mobile Web or in native app, so it easily works across any platform and device.”

Statement credit
Amex Express Checkout is available for card members to use online at BarkBox, Burberry, Ledbury, Newegg, Sabon, Ticketmaster, Warby Parker and The Wall Street Journal. The system is expected to be available in the coming months on Web sites for Avis Car Rental, Banana Republic, Cole Haan, Hulu, Gap, Intermix, Old Navy, Popsugar Must Have, Rocketmiles, and others.

Simplifying complex financial matters via mobile.

Card members will get a one-time $10 statement credit per merchant when they use Amex Express Checkout online at BarkBox, Burberry, Ledbury, Newegg, Sabon, Ticketmaster, Warby Parker and The Wall Street Journal through Sept. 7.

With Amex Express Checkout, a card member’s account information is transferred to the merchant through a token, allowing for safer transactions than traditional online checkout. 

Since American Express auto-fills account information in real time for every online transaction via Amex Express Checkout, both card members and merchants are assured that the card number and billing details provided are current – eliminating the need to manually update details, as may be required with an online wallet.

To use the system on mobile, the card member first selects the Amex Express Checkout button at the time of payment. He or she then chooses which American Express Card to use. American Express auto-fills the rest of the checkout fields on the merchant site.

For instance, American Express card members shopping on can purchase a pair of sunglasses simply by clicking the Amex Express Checkout button at the time of purchase.

The launch, a key step in American Express’ digital transformation strategy, could have a strong impact on the mobile payments ecosystem, which is getting increasingly crowded.

Driving conversions with convenience.

Merchants that participated in early testing of Amex Express Checkout saw a 20 percent higher cart conversion rate with customers who used it versus manually entering checkout details, American Express said in a release.

The system comes as the public, weary of fraudulent payment experiences, has grown more willing to part with personal and private information in exchange for more secure and convenient payments service.

Security breach
Research shows 19 percent of shoppers have been the victim of fraudulent purchases as a result of a security breach at a major retailer. A recent Walker Sands’ retail study found that more confidence in payment security would have made 48 percent of consumers in 2014 more likely to shop online, up from 42 percent in 2013.

Easing payments for both card members and merchants.

“Trust, security and service are quintessential elements to the American Express brand,” Mr. Wolf said. “Amex Express Checkout utilizes industry-leading security measures to keep card numbers and personal information safe and secure.

“We saw the pain points — for both card members and merchants — associated with checking out online,” he said. “And [we] were able to leverage our proprietary technology and closed loop business model to remove checkout barriers, in order to ease the mobile payment process for card members and merchants alike.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York