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American Express slides Touch ID, fraud alerts into app redesign

American Express is relaunching its mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms to include new features such as streamlined Touch ID login, rewards information, nearby offers and on-the-go fraud alert verification.

The credit card company is hoping to foster deeper relationships with card holders by enabling them to better understand the rewards, benefits and security features that mobile offers. The Amex mobile app’s intuitive navigation is also redesigned to equally benefit personal, small business and corporate customers and is optimized for each operating system.

“We were really inspired by our Card Members,” said David Yoo, senior vice president of mobile products and services, American Express, New York. “They’ve been asking us for more features and functionalities that are not only more intuitive to how they interact with American Express, but that can also help bring the value of Amex Membership to life.

“The app is not only beautifully redesigned, but focuses both on the practical aspects of Card Membership, like tracking payments and paying your bill, and the emotional value, like rewards, offers and great service. The redesigned app brings our iPhone and Android users’ needs front and center.”

Beyond bill paying
While customers will be able to complete general tasks on their smartphones, such as checking account balances and paying bills, the inclusion of new features to support the app’s security structure will certainly resonate positively with members.

American Express first introduced Touch ID login for Apple consumers in December 2014, and now offers a streamlined redesign with the app update. Users can place a finger on the touchpad to receive immediate access to their financial records, a feature which may be attractive for those prone to forgetting PIN numbers and passwords while on-the-go.

Additionally, the brand has implemented a request from Android customers. Amex Offers, which provides users with relevant offers to load directly onto their cards, is now available in the Android app.

Consumers will be able to discover local deals for dining, shopping and traveling, and may view the offers on a map to more easily deduce their location. IPhone users have the capability of receiving personalized alerts to ensure they do not miss out on nearby savings, a tool which is coming to Android consumers with a future app update.

“We have a broad set of features that we are excited to share,” Mr. Yoo said. “Our Card Members asked for and were excited by the addition of Touch ID login back in December, and they’ve asked for more feature that make accessing benefits, rewards and service faster and simpler.

“With the redesigned app, our users have access to features like a map that introduces nearby Amex offers, a real time transaction activity timeline that displays payment status, as well as on-the-spot fraud alerts and verification.”

Streamlined tracking
Amex mobile app users will always be able to track their payment status, thanks to the identifiable payment due date that now appears front and center. A recent activity timeline displays pending and posted charges, making it simple for customers to pinpoint the time in which each charge was made.

Additional card members may use the quick filter tool to determine which family member is making which charges.

Customers belonging to the Membership Rewards program also have the flexibility of using their accumulated points for participating in-app purchases, a move which other credit card loyalty programs would be well-suited to leverage.

Lastly, if fraudulent activity is suspected, users will receive instant notifications on their mobile devices, after which charges may be verified with a few taps of a finger.

The Android and iOS apps are currently available for download on the Google Play and Apple App Store, respectively. However, smartphones are not the only personal device that the brand is investing in.

American Express card holders in the United States will be able to make purchases using a wearable fitness tracker with an embedded NFC chip starting this summer, pointing to the potential for wearables to transform commerce (see story).

“We’ve entered a world where people are increasingly managing many important aspects of their lives, like spending, primarily on their mobile devices,” Mr. Yoo said. “Through mobile, we can deepen our relationship with Card Members by engaging with them, wherever they are, on a regular basis.

“Mobile is a great tool to foster an ongoing relationship with Card Members, helping to guide them in their daily spending moments, not just when it’s time to pay their bill. We’re committed to making Membership mobile and this latest app redesign is another step towards bringing all aspects of American Express Membership into the mobile experience.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York