American Express today announced an operating agreement with Lianlian Group which will allow Lianlian Group to use Serve, a next-generation commerce technology, in products and services it develops for its consumer and business customers in China. The Serve platform, which American Express will license to Lianlian Group, is expected to help power a new Lianlian Group digital wallet that consumers can use to top up mobile phone minutes, pay bills and purchase products or services. American Express has also made an equity investment in Lianlian Pay Inc., an overseas company of the Lianlian group of companies (collectively "Lianlian Group").
Founded in 2004, Lianlian Group has served approximately 300 million mobile phone accounts. It operates a network of over 300,000 small business agents across China where customers can top up minutes on their mobile phones. A portion of that network also facilitates customer payments for airline tickets, video gaming credits and utility bills. American Express will work closely with Lianlian Group to better serve millions of agents and consumers in China by delivering a convenient digital payment technology.
With Serve powering its new digital wallet, Lianlian Group will be offering customers a fast and convenient way to handle day-to-day transactions, beginning with mobile top up minutes and over time expanding into other financial products and services. It will also help to build new business for local merchants in the fastest growing consumer market in the world.
"Our partnership with Lianlian Group will allow a more flexible payment option for consumers in China," said Dan Schulman, Group President, Enterprise Growth, American Express. "By leveraging Serve into its infrastructure, Lianlian Group will be well positioned to enable consumers to bridge the gap between the limitation of paying with cash and the opportunities associated with digital commerce. Lianlian Group is a fast growing mobile top up provider in China and we look forward to providing them with the technology to deploy a secure, easy and convenient e-wallet."
"American Express' partnership with Lianlian Group and the future integration of Serve's technology with our extensive network will enable Lianlian to better serve consumers and merchants in China," said Arthur Zhu, CEO, Lianlian Pay Corporation, an overseas company of Lianlian Group. "Our commitment to transform the commerce experience through innovative payment solutions has led us to jointly launch Serve in China. We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with American Express."
American Express' Enterprise Growth Group will open a new office in Hangzhou, China with a team providing technical and consulting support to Lianlian Group. The office will be headed by Matthew Lee, President, Enterprise Growth, American Express, China. Mr. Lee will be in charge of the business unit's operation and business development. Prior to joining American Express, Mr. Lee was CEO for the greater China region of First Data. With over 16 years' experience in the payments sector, Mr. Lee is well positioned to develop and grow the American Express and Serve brands in China.
China is a strategic market for American Express and the company has relationships with some of China's leading financial institutions. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC), China Merchants Bank and Bank of China (BOC) issue American Express-branded credit cards in China.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
Serve, by American Express, is an open, next-generation technology platform designed to deliver emerging payments and services to address the changing ways consumers interact and exchange money -- with one another -- as well as merchants. Serve launched in March 2011 and has a number of partners in the U.S. Learn more at serve.com and connect with us on facebook.com/paywithserve and twitter.com/serve.
About Lianlian Group, Lianlian Pay Inc. and Lianlian Pay Corporation
Lianlian Group is an innovative payment services company in China, aiming to transform local commerce experience and deliver superior value to both consumers and merchants. Lianlian Pay Inc. and Lianlian Pay Corporation are Cayman Islands-based companies of Lianlian Group.